As­tro­naut is a stel­lar ef­fort

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Stage - Tanya MacNaughton

DE­SPITE her hec­tic sched­ule as WAAPA move­ment lec­turer, Sa­man­tha Ch­ester has still man­aged to find time to cre­ate and per­form new solo phys­i­cal the­atre piece, The As­tro­naut.

Ch­ester moved to Perth a year ago from Syd­ney, where she was work­ing as a free­lance move­ment di­rec­tor and chore­og­ra­pher.

She said her sea­son of The As­tro­naut at The Blue Room The­atre from June 21 to July 9 was all about adding to her pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment in a new arts com­mu­nity.

“I think it’s re­ally im­por­tant as a fa­cil­i­ta­tor and ed­u­ca­tor in per­for­mance to put your­self out there and chal­lenge your­self as an artist,” Ch­ester said.

“I’m al­ways telling my stu­dents to lean into the work and not be afraid if they fail; to take a risk.

“I think it’s very im­por­tant we re­main fresh and alive to what we’re teach­ing.”

Directed by her WAAPA col­league Frances Barbe, The As­tro­naut is a sim­ple story about one woman and how she re­cov­ers from heart­break and decides to move on with her life.

Ch­ester said she was in­spired by the sim­plic­ity of Sa­muel Beck­ett’s works, the idea of pos­si­bil­ity in­stilled through the Apollo mis­sions, her child­hood and her mother’s story.

“My fa­ther left when I was two years old and it’s very much about that mo­ment where he walked away and how for a woman in the 1960s, what that did,” she said.

“No one got di­vorced then. She had three girls and looked af­ter my grand­mother and grand­fa­ther. Some­times when we’re in those states of grief or loss, we think that there is no pos­si­bil­ity any­more.

“For her, this is about how she re­ally moved on and taught me that we are quite tiny but our jour­ney is very im­por­tant.”

Sa­man­tha Ch­ester stars in The As­tro­naut.

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