Married to their art
IT seems quite fitting to have two married couples acting in Black Swan State Theatre Company’s next production, given its intimate nature.
However, neither couple stars opposite their real-life spouse in In The Next Room, Or The Vibrator Play.
Perth stalwarts Rebecca Davis and Stuart Halusz, and La-based Elizabeth Blackmore and Tom Stokes feature in the latest show.
Blackmore and Stokes, who met at WAAPA and married in January this year, both grew up in Perth.
After graduating in
2008, they made their way to the US via Sydney, where Blackmore picked up roles on The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural.
“Like anyone working as an actor, you try to take what you can get, wherev- er you can get it and we’ve found LA to be pretty good for us,” Blackmore, who is staying with her motherin-law in North Perth, said.
“We relish any time we get to come home to work, especially in theatre because the theatre scene is pretty bleak over there.”
Director Jeffrey Jay Fowler cast Stokes first in the production, which led Blackmore to wonder if there was a part for her.
There was as Catherine Givings, the wife of Dr Givings, and she successfully auditioned for the role when in Perth over the Christmas holidays.
“Playwright Sarah Ruhl was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for this play; it's a pretty special piece of work,” 32-year-old Blackmore said.
“She’s reimagined a real part of history in 1880s New York where electricity has just come in and they were diagnosing women with hysteria from symptoms of feeling depressed, lethargic, having a headache or anything that basically made them unpleasant to be around.
“They were treating women with these vibrating machines… it was seen purely in a medical context and not at all about pleasure.
“Ruhl has reimagined it to this world where Dr Givings is one of the creators of these new vibrating in- struments and he’s testing out his theory that it will cure women’s hysteria.
“Catherine is deeply curious what her husband’s work is, in the next room, and trying to figure out what it all means.”
Blackmore said the play presented a perfect combination of comedy and emotion.
“Obviously there’s sexual content in it, but it’s also about intimacy, love and marriage,” she said.
Married couples Rebecca Davis and Stuart Halusz and Elizabeth Blackmore and Tom Stokes star in In The Next Room. Picture: Andrew RitchieTHE ESSENTIALS