Could you tell us a bit about your background and practice as a playwright?

I am a playwright based in Melbourne, Australia and hold a Masters of Writing for Performance from the Victorian College of the Arts. I have also participated in Australia Council’s JUMP Mentorship program and Next Wave’s Kickstart program. I am interested in the human condition and write plays that are explorations of interior psychological states.

You received a Cultural Trust grant in 2014 to undertake various mentorships throughout Europe. How has the experience shaped the trajectory of your career and/or artistic practice between then and now?

I was able to see a lot of work and meet a lot of artists that have made me really question why I am making theatre specifically. I think this is a great question to keep asking. ‘Why theatre?’

How did you come across the opportunity to pursue those mentorships?

I wrote to the artists I admired and wanted to learn from, and they wrote back! I really wanted to learn from observing rehearsals and being in the room with those artists as they were making the work.

What experiences and skills were you able to acquire that otherwise may not have been available to you in Australia?

Working in such big companies in the European model was fascinating. It was completely different to anything I had experienced in Australia previously. Their companies are much better funded and the plays run in repertoire. The most exciting thing for me was that the set was there from day one, so the work was able to live and evolve as a moving thing for much longer than is normal in most Australian companies. I think more discoveries were made this way. It was also fascinating for me to watch rehearsals in another language – I don’t speak German or Dutch, so it was a great exercise to see how much of a work comes through without an understanding of language.

Your latest play, ‘Looking Glass’, was influenced by your interest in psychoanalysis. Can you tell us a bit about how psychoanalysis informed your writing of the play, and your writing practice more generally?

I think this has always been an unconscious thing for me. I don’t think about it when I’m writing. But I think psychoanalysis does the same thing that art does. It’s about bringing the unconscious to the surface, making it visible, trying to find a way of expressing the unknown. I hate talking about psychology of characters in the rehearsal room though, so it is sort of interesting how much I love psychoanalysis…because I don’t think I necessarily apply it to the production of my plays.

What’s it like being an emerging playwright in the Australian theatre scene? How does it compare to your experiences in Europe?

Australia has a good theatre culture. There are a lot of great writers here. I wish we took more risks and trusted our writers more. I think there is more risk taking in Europe. I was working with established artists, so of course I am jealous of all the support they had.

What are you currently working on?

I am trying to write a new play by starting with the design. I am trying to write the text via the design I think. It is an experiment.