27.7 C
Byron Shire
February 27, 2021

Telling the HARD Stuff

Latest News

Mt Warning ban

Chris Gee, Byron Bay Indigenous readers be advised that the following letter contains references to persons deceased. I read with some...

Other News

Family Court scrapped

Despite overwhelming opposition from Australia’s family law specialists and advocates, the federal Liberal-Nationals government and cross benchers scrapped the Family Law Court and subsumed it into the circuit courts last week.

The lunatics have taken over the asylum…

The Zombies of the Climate ApoCOALpse have today swarmed around Queensland's Parliament House this morning to highlight impending climate chaos.

Cartoon of the week – 24 February, 2021

We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters is at the discretion of the online and print letters editors.

Ready for Byron’s latest massive development on Jonson St?

The changing face of Byron as Gold Coast and Sydney developers move in to recreate the look and feel of the town with intense development proposals.

Facebook fails

Adrian Gattenhof, Mullumbimby American spoilt brat Zuckerberg may have done adults around the world a great favour with his screamy...

Local fisherfolk caught in the parking fine net

FIsherfolk have been caught in the net of parking fines designed to stop travellers parking up for the night on the Tweed Coast Road and they are seeking help to access their beaches at night without fines.

WP-Tammy-Anderson---I-Don't-Wanna-Play-HouseMandy Nolan

At this year’s inaugural Boomerang Festival, actor/writer Tammy Anderson presents the longest running aboriginal play in the country, the critically acclaimed I Don’t Wanna Play House, a gritty and confronting piece that tackles domestic violence and child abuse.

 

Why did you choose to create a show about domestic violence and child abuse?

I chose to write a story about domestic violence and child abuse to show audiences the truth. I wanted the audience to feel, to see, to be challenged. We read about these issues, or see them on TV etc but in theatre and through performance, we can take the audience on the journey with emotions. What comes from the heart, goes to the heart. Theatre is a powerful medium and this enabled me to have a voice. I wanted to share my personal experiences, to open up my soul. This story is a universal story, a human being story. I wanted to penetrate my audience. To make change in society, to help those who don’t understand, get a glimpse of the horror movie that many go through. But most importantly, to help those who have suffered to know that they are not alone. And by being an example, sharing my pain, and showing that I’ve come through it and have a wonderful life, have survived, as a mum, an artist, gives so many others hope. To share one’s pain, is the beginning of healing. When I present the work everywhere I go, I know I have helped someone take that step.

What were the challenges you faced in telling a story like this?

I’ve had many challenges to face. Writing the work was very cathartic, and confronting. I had to be sensitive to my family. I had to look after myself. I have taken on a huge responsibility. I had to make sure that the audiences were looked after in regards to services, as I’m not a counsellor, and I wanted to make sure that people had the right people close by to talk to, or information to guide them. Personally, I had to work through the darkness and find the strength and courage.

The show has been running well over a decade now – does that surprise you?

I never thought I’d be running the show after 13 years. But after taking it out there in the world, and sharing my story, it became so many people’s stories. So no it doesn’t surprise me at all. I think I will be telling this yarn for a long time.

How has the show impacted on people afterwards? What have people come up and told you? Do you feel you have empowered people in these situations?

The response has been amazing. People are literally blown away. This show has been received with standing ovation around the world. And most definitely people in these situations have been empowered.

Has DV touched your life?

Yes DV has touched my life. It has scarred deeply. I have had to do a lot of personal work. It has affected my relationships, my trust. You don’t get over it. You have to learn to deal with it. Depression, anxiety. I have made wrong choices in relationships, have been through emotional abuse, and have had post-traumatic stress.

How has the play changed over time, you have matured as the writer and actor so what else do you bring to the script? Do you love that freedom for a work to grow with you?

The play has changed over time, because I have grown over time. The show is deeper. The performance is deeper, because I have become stronger. It is a unique work, the way I present the story is unique. I have finessed each character. After 13 years the detail is specific and the show and performance is of high quality. I love this work, I love performing it because it is so special to me, so close to my heart. I know what it represents and I know its power, and that in itself is amazing. I love that freedom of the work growing with me, and each time I perform it I still find something new. It is always a new show, a new audience, a new space. To hear the audience hold their breath, and to see fear on their face, tears, or hear their laughter, I have them in the palm of my hand, ready to take them on the rollercoaster ride of life! As each year goes by, my life changes in some way, and I get to share that update in a section of the story. Now there is a very new chapter and when I get to that part of the story, the audience will hear that my path has changed dramatically. I have only shared this new chapter in two recent shows and the audience erupted and there was a thunderous applause. This isn’t just a theatre show with a beginning, middle and end, it’s a story about life, my life. Each day is a new day.

Have you always been a storyteller?

Yes I guess I have, as a little girl I would stand on the steps of housing commission houses and get all the kids in the street sit on the front yard and listen to me sing and tell stories. A little girl with a great imagination and big dreams. I’m still living that dream.

How did you find yourself at Swinburne?

From a story in the paper, launching the course. I went along to on open day, checked it out and thought, I’m gonna give it a go.

Then John Bolton gave me a scholarship to his Theatre School in Williamstown, and the rest is history!

How did the decision to be involved in theatre as a writer and actress change your life? Did you think at the time you could do it?

My life has changed dramatically. I have found my true passion, I have found my gift. I absolutely love what I do, and I keep creating, and producing works about the human condition. I deeply care about my work, and understand the power of theatre, of storytelling.

I have travelled the world with this show, changing many lives. I have presented on the best stages, through small communities who are disadvantaged to presenting in prisons. My work has opened up my eyes and has changed me as a person, as a human being. I have made friendships across the world, I have heard stories whispered in my ears, I have met people in high places, I have cried with those who have suffered. I have sat and listened to thousands of stories. I have laughed with many. I have heard anger. I have seen the truth. I didn’t get time to think if I could do it, I just did it. I had to be brave. I took on a huge responsibility.

How do you approach I Don’t Wanna Play House each time you run – do you have any way of preparing?

I prepare myself by keeping very fit and healthy, both physically and mentally. I have to keep my voice strong and ready.

I eat well. I meditate, do yoga and have joined a gym. I swim, I walk. I stay positive in my head. My warm-up is full of stretching, and preparing my body for the show. I roll around on the stage, making sure every inch of me touches the floor! I play 16 characters with no props, no set. I mentally take myself through the journey.

I sing every favourite song on my ipod… (loud) and engage with every pocket of my soul. I awaken all senses.

I am present in my performance, very ready. I have the biggest adrenalin rush every single show. It’s always as if it’s the first time. It’s addictive! I am well-prepared. I want my performance to be the best, every time.

What should we expect for Boomerang Festival?

Boomerang Festival has the best of the best in the line-up. Rhoda has programmed an amazing festival, she has a great eye!

I am truly honoured to be presenting with artists of high calibre. Expect to have your world rocked!

I Don’t Wanna Play House, is a powerful story, told in a unique way. You will be challenged, you will cry, you will be shocked, you will understand, you will feel, you will laugh, you will hold your breath, you will exhale. You will celebrate a life, a journey.

You will remember this story for a long time.

October long weekend.

www.boomerangfestival.com.au

 

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

  1. Sounds like an interesting show, but where’s the DA for the festival and where’s the discussion about the DA? Shame on you Echo. And nobody’s even willing to put a byline on the earlier article about Wantok SING SING (or should I say press release) and no opportunity to comment there. Hardly independent, critical journalism.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

‘The Great Reset’

Gary Opit, Wooyung I appreciated the letter by Lucas Wright (17 February) on the Great Reset conspiracy fantasy. With our privileged, western, simplistic understanding of...

Letting go

Mary McMorrow, Mullumbimby I respect the parents forgiving the drunk driver who killed their four children (one a cousin) as their way of dealing with...

Ministers misbehave

Keith Duncan, Pimlico Accusations of appalling behaviour by the Liberal Party in covering up misdeeds within its ranks just keep on keeping on. The last...

Transparency needed

Janelle Saffin MP, State Member for Lismore. I read with interest Mia Armitage’s front page article in last week’s Echo ‘Electorates miss out on bushfire...