'I want to work with humans, not props'

'Stories...'

'I want to work with humans, not props'

She has introduced an unconventional wave of feminism in the arena of theatre across the globe.

Not only committed to working with women-centric themes, but also busy churning out fresh perspectives from evergreen stories written by women, director Anne-Louis Sarks has diligently crafted her production to see to it that it doesn’t complicate the simple story of a woman and doesn’t simplify what is complicated.

Her play, ‘Stories I Want To Tell You In Person’, explores a local theme and yet, is as universal as it gets. It revolves around the balance between the personal and professional life of a woman.

Full of movement, the play is the product of a perfect marriage between an outrageously funny plot and a crisp message.

With simple design and a minimal set, it is like a live current that shocks and illuminates, as it weaves a story around a practical woman and mystic fortune tellers.

‘Stories...’ was brought down by The Australia India Council and the Australian High Commission and is a one-woman show, scripted and acted by Lally Katz.

The fit, friendly and fiercely attentive resident director, Anne, of the Belvoir Theatre Group in Sydney, says, “I like to tell stories about women rather than about the ‘Hamlets’ of the world. I see that the industry is quite male-dominated today. Women have to come out and write their own roles. I see young women directing their work but I wish there were more of them.” Anne has enjoyed her short stint in the City and watched the Shakespeare classic ‘Macbeth’ while she was here.

She adds, “I found that the audience behave differently here. People move around, talk a little bit more and are quite engaged during a play here. I’ve seen them take photos. Nobody takes photos back in Australia during a play.”

She looks at components of the stage and the set like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that she can put together only after she reads the script.

“I read the words and get into the head of each character myself. As an actor, I
understand the set spatially and the world physically. I let the script tell me what is required for the set. It’s a part of theatre-making and it’s a joy to do it.”

    This is partly why she describes herself as a luddite as she says that she doesn’t understand the impact of technology in the world of theatre.

“I am the last person to analyse whether the digital world has changed the face of theatre. I don’t like too many heavy components on stage. I want to work with humans, not props,” she says, pushing back her curly blonde hair.

A collaborative artiste, she is also known for handling creative differences on stage with ease.

 “Directing is all about communication and management. I listen to everyone but at the end of the day, I’m the boss. And I think we need a boss, one who listens to
voices and brings all the voices on the table and one who is broad-minded.”

Though she does wish that there is more funding in theatre so that artistes can develop work slowly, the confident director considers herself “very fortunate” to have put up her productions across the world.

Armed with two more plays, she is going back to Perth and later really wants to come back to India.

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