Been there, Dunn that

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Fashion - Sum­mer of the Sev­en­teenth Doll Heath Ledger The­atre May 5 to 20

MACKEN­ZIE Dunn is a proud fourth­gen­er­a­tion per­former and if her first year af­ter grad­u­at­ing from WAAPA is any­thing to go by, she will con­tinue the im­pres­sive fam­ily legacy in style.

Her grand­par­ents on her mother’s side are Aus­tralian the­atre leg­ends Jill Per­ry­man and Ke­van John­ston (whose aunts also per­formed), while her un­cle is mu­si­cian and TV per­son­al­ity Pic­ture: Will Rus­sell Tod John­ston and mum Trudy Dunn.

“Mum is study­ing the di­rect­ing course at WAAPA and do­ing a mas­ters at uni as well,” 22-year-old Dunn said.

“She’s also the co-or­di­na­tor of the act­ing diploma course, so WAAPA is very much part of our fam­ily. We stayed out of each other’s way while I was there.

“Mum was as­sis­tant di­rec­tor on Heathers: The Mu­si­cal which was one of my third-year shows and that was a test on our re­la­tion­ship. But we knew when to switch on mother-daugh­ter re­la­tion­ship and when to go in to di­rec­tor-cast mem­ber mode.”

Dunn also starred as lead Peggy Sawyer in WAAPA’S 42nd Street at Re­gal The­atre last year, a role she had played on the same stage as a Year 10 at Iona Pre­sen­ta­tion Col­lege while grow­ing up in Mos­man Park.

She will make her pro­fes­sional de­but in Black Swan State The­atre Com­pany’s (BSSTC) May sea­son of Sum­mer of the Sev­en­teenth Doll. Her grand­par­ents were in the 1988 Hole in the Wall pro­duc­tion of the Ray Lawler play, where Per­ry­man was Pearl and John­ston played Bar­ney.

“I didn’t know they’d done it be­fore when I was cast,” Dunn said.

“They called me up to tell me they’d done The Doll and shared all these anec­dotes. It was one of those mo­ments where that legacy comes for­ward.

“It’s daunt­ing but I’m so proud to keep the tra­di­tion go­ing, al­though I might come off stage and be given notes.”

Lawler’s work is re­garded as the first Aus­tralian play to reach in­ter­na­tional au­di­ences. It used Aus­tralian ac­cents and showed the world what Aus­tralia was like in 1950s work­ing­class Mel­bourne.

Dunn is in the role of Bubba, who she said was there to present youth, hope and truth.

“It’s funny be­cause it par­al­lels with me and my fam­ily; she’s that gen­er­a­tional fig­ure that is proof that times are chang­ing,” she said.

“She has been grow­ing up in this house with these char­ac­ters all her life and now she’s a woman ready to go and start a life of her own.”

Dunn, who has al­ready moved to Mel­bourne, will stay in Perth af­ter The Doll sea­son to per­form in BSSTC pro­duc­tion As­sas­sins be­fore head­ing back to the east coast to play Frankie Valli’s daugh­ter Francine in the new pro­duc­tion of Jer­sey Boys, start­ing in Au­gust.­mu­ni­ d481571

Macken­zie Dunn has a proud, if daunt­ing, act­ing lin­eage. WHAT: WHERE: WHEN: TICK­ETS:

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