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Byron Shire
June 13, 2021

Interview with NORPA dancer Alice Misty Boscheinen and writer and performer, Kate McDowell

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Into The Forest by NORPA. Photo by Vanessa Kellas

What you Find in the Forest…

When Alice and her support worker Kate venture into the forest for the night – the shapeshifting Dingo is ready for them. Into the Forest is a magical theatre experience performed and devised by dancer Alice Misty Boscheinen with writer and performer Kate McDowell, who is also Alice’s support worker off the stage. Directed and devised by NORPA’s Artistic Director, Julian Louis, Into the Forest explores themes of caring, independence, friendship and fantasy.

Why have you chosen to go into the forest?

Alice: It’s fun.

Kate: The forest is so close, it’s all around us, and yet it is so full of mystery – a universe of ancient cultures intersecting with one another, with which we can’t directly connect. As a great unknown, when we enter the forest, we are out of known comforts, often out of sight from others, and out of the kind of comprehension we are used to in human-made environments. The way each of us exists in that place of unknown and obscurity might tell us something about who we are, so it’s a great place to begin.

How did you come up with the story?

Alice: Red Riding Hood. Fall in love. We just dance, and do acting, to find the story.

Kate: I collected a whole bunch of research on forests in literature, trees, forests and folklore in Australia, news stories, following leads that were exciting. I brought it to the rehearsal room to share it with Alice and the team and together we did things like drawing, creating sound with objects, playing out scene ideas that came up, and visiting classic stories and fairy tales, and the story began to find it’s way. Then we kept playing with the story synopsis in the studio to find the ways we wanted to tell it.

What scary things live in the forest?

Alice: Dingo. And Firestarter. Hyenas, wild dogs, snakes, crocodile…

Kate: Myself.

Alice, how does this story talk about you?

Alice: Red Riding Hood, fall in love with person in audience, scenes with Kate are funny and fun and fantastic. I get curious about love relationships and friend relationships too.

About fighting with Kate – it’s fun and scary and good, but it’s fake.

Also, don’t judge, treat other people, like me, like a normal person.

And how does it show who Kate is in your life?

Alice: A normal person. A support worker – come save my life for me. Up and downs in our relationship. Have fun together. Kate is very frustrated and worried and expressing feelings…

Tell me more about Dingo?

Alice: Good mask. Kate just pretending. It’s like what happens with Dingo come true in my life, scary stuff. I wanna express my feelings in that. Just act and dance. And let it go.

What should we expect for your show?

 Alice: To have fun, to have a laugh. Me and Kate acting and dancing. One personal thing – violent stuff in there, me and Kate, don’t take that too seriously. Just come and enjoy it.

Into the Forest, a NORPA Premiere.

Thursday 10, and Friday 11 June, 6pm.

Bar open from 5pm.

NORPA at Lismore City Hall. Tickets: $20 – $36


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