Steven
Kennedy

Scroll to meet Steven

Showreel 2015

2015

Jeremiah's Tuesday Trailer

2015

Plague Reel 2

2015

Plague Reel 1

2015

Will Charlie Survive?

2015

Plague Special Feature

2015

MOOMBA 2015 TVC

2015

Rat Bones Music Video

2014

The Time of Our Lives

2013

Tinkertown

2012

Virbac TVC

2012

Worksafe Obedience Experiment

2012

Audio Showreel

2010

Résumé

A summary of Steven's eclectic and extensive acting experience.
Download his full résumé for further information.

Television

2013 The Time of Our Lives V/Line Attendant ABC Television
2012 Brynne: My Bedazzled Life Himself Channel 7
2012 Mrs Biggs Lennie Channel 7/Paul Whittington
2009 City Homicide Businessman Seven Network/David Cameron
2009 Blue Blood Ray Kirkwood Cornerbox Productions/Fiona Banks

Commerical

2017 Dons Smallgoods BBQ Don OTTO Empire, Justin Reardon
2015 Moomba Promo TVC Surveyor Extropic
2012 NAB Stand In Builder Clemenger BBDO
2012 RaboDirect Coach Sweet Shop, Mark Lever
2011 Virbac Cydectin Hero Farmer Red Handed
2010 Piano Man — White Pages Doctor Prodigy Films, Brian Billow
2006 Good Sports Football Hooligan Bear Cage Productions, Oliver Campbell
2006 Morgans Cleaning Husband Bear Cage Productions Oliver Campbell

Feature Film

2014 Plague Charlie Burn the Ships, Kostas Ouzas, Nick Kozakis
2012 Any Questions for Ben Old Boss Working Dog, Rob Sitch
2011 Bound By Blue Psychiatrist/Peep Show Manager Blue Think Boy Think, David Hawkins
2005 Perfect Mr Grape Nineteenth Hole Productions, Christian Doran
2001 Strange James Barry Baxter Violent Velcro, David Doepl

Stage

2015 Jeremiah's Tuesday (Fairfax, Arts Centre Melbourne) Jeremiah Black Stamp Theatre, Stefan Mrowinski
2015 Jeremiah's Tuesday (New York) Jeremiah Black Stamp Theatre, Stefan Mrowinski
2014 MONOROTICA Little B Theaterotica, Steven Kennedy
2013 MONOROTICA Father Frankenfurter Theaterotica, Steven Kennedy
2012 Tinkertown Chester MKA, Tobias Mendelson-Galvin
2011 Revengers Comedy Robert La Mama, Stefan Mrowinski
2009 3 Sisters Vershinin PMD Productions, Paul Knox
2008 ALARM! Seamus Unkempt Theatre, Robin Davidson
2007 Bullshot Crummond 8 Various Williamstown Little Theatre, Chris Baldock
2007 Grapes of Wrath Floyd Heidelberg Theatre Company, Chris Baldock
2006 Summer of the 17th Doll Barney Ibbot Free Reign Theatre, Cathy Clelland
2006 Ying Tong a Walk With the Goons Peter Sellers Rude Mechanicals, Ian Potter
2005 LOOT Inspector Truscott Paper Moon Productions, Adam Maher

Musical Theatre

2009 Titanic, Theatre Restaurant Captain Smith/Andy Titanic Productions, Leonie Chapman
2008 The Babes in the Wood Aunty Avaricia Leo9 Productions, Kelly Bray

Corporate

2014 Opening Ceremony Master of Ceremonies REGROWTH Festival
2014 Rainbow Sustainability Producer and Orator Rainbow Serpent Festival
2013 Rainbow Serpent Festival Sustainability Culture Change Producer and Orator Rainbow Serpent Festival
2013 Opening Ceremony Master of Ceremonies REGROWTH Festival
2012 Opening Ceremony Master of Ceremonies REGROWTH Festival
2011 Opening Ceremony Master of Ceremonies REGROWTH Festival
2010 Austrade Buinessman Renegade Films, Rebecca Peniston-Bird
2010 Opening Ceremony Master of Ceremonies REGROWTH Festival
2009 Opening Ceremony Master of Ceremonies REGROWTH Festival
2008 Opening Ceremony Master of Ceremonies REGROWTH Festival
2004 Police Training Academy Various Criminals Australian Federal Police, Improvised

Voice Over

2015 Bumble, Symbiota Vocals REGEN Records
2014 Bumble, Polination Album Vocals REGEN Records
2013 Bumble, Bust and Bloom Album Vocals REGEN Records
2008 Arpege Hair Frenchman 104.7 FM Canberra
2007 Canberra Mowers Lawnmower Man 104.7 FM Canberra

Training

2014/2015 Character Development Melbourne Actors Lab
2008 Professional Acting Verve Studios
2003—2005 Introduction to Acting National Acting School

Performance Biography

Steven Kennedy is primarily an actor though he also has credits as a producer, director, writer, voice over artist, songwriter and public orator and is also a civil marriage celebrant.

In 2013 he founded his own company Theaterotica.Taking on the roles of Artistic Director, Producer, Director and Actor he created two seasons of Monorotica a series of comedic monologues, poems and songs with adult themes.He also directed the sound design, penned one of the monologues and wrote the finale song.

Other stage productions include Tinkertown, Revengers Comedy, Three Sisters, Babes in the Woods, Bullshot Crummond, Grapes of Wrath, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll and Loot.

Feature films include the Burning Ships independent feature Plague, Any Questions for Ben with Working Dog and Bound by Blue with Think Boy Think.

He has appeared in the television series The time of Their lives, Bryne: My Bedazzled Life, Mrs Biggs and City Homocide.

Since 2008 he has collaborated with Sydney electronic music producer Bumble, writing and recording voice content with environmental themes.Together they have released 5 albums and countless festival “sets”.

Most recently Steven has been involved in a project to address the sustainability culture of large outdoor music festivals in Australia, most notably the Rainbow Serpent Festival.Orating to audiences of up to 8,000 on waste management and sustainability.

Continue reading

Born in Glasgow to a docker and a seamstress, he arrived in Australia by boat, aged nine months. Steven was 11 when he experienced his first taste of alternative theatre. The production: his sixth grade teacher’s take on The Wizard of Oz. Steven’s role: The lion… with an addiction to Bex.

Who knows what impact the 1970s medication-tinged version of the famous story really had on the young boy?

"It would be more than 20 years before I would be on stage again," says Steven.

Growing up in Wollongong, there were plenty of other activities to distract him: surfing, skateboards and athletics (he was a state representative in high jump). Steven’s first job — straight from high school — was as a signals and communications technician with the State Rail Authority of NSW. When his four-year electrical apprenticeship was completed, he was posted back to Wollongong.

A brief but impressive reign as NSW Arm Wrestling Champion gave him a couple of trophies on his mantelpiece in 1990 & 1991 but Steven wanted more.

When the travel bug bit, he went to Europe, using Scotland as a base. Like so many job-hungry Australians abroad, Steven worked the bar and nightclub scene followed by a fly-in/fly-out stint on oil rigs in the North Sea.

Then theatre called again.

Scotland’s small north-east town of Fraserborough was a long way from Rydell High but it was a local production of the musical Grease, in 1992, that put the smell of greasepaint back in Steven’s life.

With no family or childhood friends to offer the usual comfort, the close-knit theatrical community gave him more than just experience handling the spotlight. A passion was born.

He studied science at the University of New South Wales and the irony that the same building houses the National Institute of Dramatic Art has haunted him since.

When he left there in 1999, it was with a Petroleum Engineering degree under his belt and, five years later, after what seemed like a lifetime working the harsh conditions of the Simpson Desert, Steven had an important epiphany.

Steven despised his job. What to do?
What was to become of someone so unhappy with their professional life? Steven took a job with the Government. Things do happen for a reason.

Steven looks back on his time formulating policy about safety in the Australian off-shore gas and oil industry as another stepping stone.

An advertisement on the departmental notice board gave him the spark to take his leap of faith.
Someone was looking for actors to appear in a short film, and Steven auditioned, successfully.

Steven’s acting career had really begun. He used what the short film gig had taught him to successfully audition for other film productions.

In 2004, he returned to the stage. The role was Inspector Truscott in Joe Orton’s Lootand Steven was nominated for a Canberra Area Theatre (CAT) Award.

It was the first of seven subsequent acting nominations for Steven, including one well-deserved win — Heidelberg Theatre Best Supporting Actor for his role as Pretty Boy Floyd in the contemporary classic, Grapes of Wrath.

Today, Steven’s success as a working actor continues. In the theatre world, he is regularly busy with recent performances in MKA’s Tinkertown, where he had the enviable distinction of sharing the stage with Brynne Edelsten for her 2012 reality TV show — My Bedazzled Life.

In 2013 Steven started a theatre company and produced and directed 2 shows for which he also designed the sound scape and operated lighting, and even managed to appear in both productions.

His appearance in the Working Dog film production, Any Questions for Ben — and soon to be released Plague, by the boys at Burning Ships, highlights Steven’s impressive screen presence.

Aside from acting, Steven hones his personable approach to his craft as a marriage celebrant and is a regular collaborator in the world of electronic music — co-creating two albums with local artist, Bumble — and orating to thousands of festivals goers on the subject of sustainability and waste management.

Blog

2 December 15

Reviews of Jeremiah's Tuesday

Jacquelyn Claire, NY Theatre Guide“heart wrenching reframing of the universal story of Power Corrupts”“Steven Kennedy was electric. I was a deer in the headlights unable to turn away”“a post modern, satirical masterpiece born through the labor of two exceptional theatre artists”“Mrowinski has Kennedy as a magnificent arrow pulled taut in a straining bow. His body committed to every moment with an intensity that was palpable and one had to remind oneself to breathe”“exquisite production… lightening bolt show”Tom Bensly, Theatre People“disturbing and captivating, always intriguing”“Brimming with passion”“Kennedy remains captivating. Every line is perfectly articulated, and he wholly embodies a difficult character”Lee Bemrose Australian Stage“It's intriguing from the start”“the kind of story that demands you pay attention”Particia Di Risio, Stage Whispers“profound beauty and richness”“truly exquisite example of Monodrama”Stacey Waters Pop Culture“His performance is captivating”“An actor with any less of Kennedy’s talents would be a disaster in this part, but Kennedy is superb and a delight to observe”Only an excellent theatrical magician is able in this way to mesmerize the viewer.Jerzy Krysiak - bumerangmedia.com Read more

28 April 15

WE DID IT! - WE'RE OFF TO NEW YORK CITY!!

Since 2011 I have been involved in the development of an amazing monodrama with master director Stefan Mrowinski. Earlier this year we applied to the United Solo Festival and we have been accepted! I am very excited to announce that we are heading to NYC in October 2015. Read more

17 March 15

THEATEROTICA

In mid 2013 I founded a theatre company - Theaterotica. Here is an interview i did with Australianstage.com.au. Discussing the company and our first few seasons of MONOROTICA. Read more

2 April 14

Welcome to my Website!

Ever since my first short film audition at the beginning of the century I have been passionately and conscientiously shaping my career as an actor. Honing my skills, building my knowledge and experience and patiently planning the arc of this part of my life. Read more

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7 December 15

Jeremiah's Tuesday, Fairfax Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne

On the 28th Of December 2015 I will realise a dream.

In October of 2015 I travelled 17, 000 Km's to perform one show. A single appearance in the United Solo Festival. It was a fantastic experience and one I am very proud to have been a part of. On November 23 I was excited to learn that I had won the award for Best Experimental Show. The New York gig was a great opportunity and a big deal for me... but when i returned i was discovered that Jeremiah's Tuesday had been selected as a feature event of the Polart Festival. This meant that i would be performing solo at the Fairfax Theatre, Arts Centre, Melbourne. Suddenly i was even more excited than i was about the New York appearance. I have been watching theatre at the Fairfax for some time and now i was going to have the stage to myself. Its a great buzz to be anticipating this performance. I can't wait for my friends and family to see what we've created, and for the public of Melbourne to see what poor theatre monodrama is all about!

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2 December 15

Reviews of Jeremiah's Tuesday

Jacquelyn Claire, NY Theatre Guide“heart wrenching reframing of the universal story of Power Corrupts”“Steven Kennedy was electric. I was a deer in the headlights unable to turn away”“a post modern, satirical masterpiece born through the labor of two exceptional theatre artists”“Mrowinski has Kennedy as a magnificent arrow pulled taut in a straining bow. His body committed to every moment with an intensity that was palpable and one had to remind oneself to breathe”“exquisite production… lightening bolt show”Tom Bensly, Theatre People“disturbing and captivating, always intriguing”“Brimming with passion”“Kennedy remains captivating. Every line is perfectly articulated, and he wholly embodies a difficult character”Lee Bemrose Australian Stage“It's intriguing from the start”“the kind of story that demands you pay attention”Particia Di Risio, Stage Whispers“profound beauty and richness”“truly exquisite example of Monodrama”Stacey Waters Pop Culture“His performance is captivating”“An actor with any less of Kennedy’s talents would be a disaster in this part, but Kennedy is superb and a delight to observe”Only an excellent theatrical magician is able in this way to mesmerize the viewer.Jerzy Krysiak - bumerangmedia.com

Jacquelyn Claire, NY Theatre Guide

Jeremiah’s Tuesday, written and directed by Stefan Mrowinski, is a post modern, satirical masterpiece born through the labor of two exceptional theatre artists, Australian actor, Steven Jack Kennedy and theatre practitioner giant, Stefan Mrowinski.

In this “poetic, black grotesque, monodrama,” we unearth Jeremiah stripped bare, ruminating on the nature of power. His totalitarian democracy has shattered and revolution has driven him out of his created society and into a primal state, hiding, but waiting for his executioners. We have returned to the source, to the fecundity and ferocity of the forest man who is revealed in all of his raw emotion and vulnerability. As the planet floods and the rain erodes his dictatorship, he cannot escape the earths cleanse of the toxic. It is Tuesday, his last day of life.

We might think that this is a story we know well -dictatorship, the collapse of representative democracy, the maniacal drive for power, the unstoppable destruction of an over bloated ego but it is in the tapestry of the words that we find a new entrance into this familiar landscape. Mrowinski brings over 50 years of experience to this production, and it is witnessed in his turn of phrase, the unforgettable lines, (“They wanted to tax the rain”) and his heart wrenching reframing of the universal story of Power Corrupts.

Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet — crying a fountain of tears for the slain of his people but here it feels like his tears are to wash away his own atrocities. It is a lamentation, a mournful complaint, a deep confession to reveal his sins and to warn the people of the ensuing consequences of a life detached from a connection to nature.

Steven Kennedy was electric. I was a deer in the headlights unable to turn away. Kennedy and Mrowinski have created an intimate dance where they circle their prey, bringing you in closer and closer, drawing you into the net due to the magnetism of a leader capable of spellbinding oration. Kennedy gives us a man fragmenting in front of us, rallying against nature, fighting death and still desiring the heady addiction of unlimited power.

Mrowinski has Kennedy as a magnificent arrow pulled taut in a straining bow. His body committed to every moment with an intensity that was palpable and one had to remind oneself to breathe. Kennedy gave us an impressive range of emotions and extremes of physical expression that shows evidence of a lengthy rehearsal process, an unwavering commitment to the message of the text and a trusting partnership between performer and director.

When you realize that you have watched a man with only a tin drum and pair of binoculars creating a metaphorical, complex, intriguing world that requires no spectacle, I find I am totally in love with the tenants of “Poor Theatre” again where a good story, a skilled performer, a visionary director and the energy of the live is all that is required to transport the audience into a transformative space.

Polish born Mrowinski, is a living legend who has dedicated his life to the creation of meaningful art as a director and playwright. He has collaborated with theatre greats like Grotowski and Peter Brook and is renowned as one of the directors of the avant-garde theatre in Poland. He was also founder of his own Open Theatre –Poetica Theatre co and co-founder of ‘The Church’ in Melbourne. As I write this review he is gravely ill at home in Australia. This production may be his last and in his own words he said, “I’ve saved the best for last.”

Although internationally renowned for his extensive body of work, Jeremiah’s Tuesday was the first of his productions to be performed in New York.

His directorial debut in 1966 was titled, I am One of Many, but I feel we can now say that he left an indelible mark on the psyche of the artist and stands out as a soul who reached his full potential over the course of a defining lifetime in service to the arts.

If the play is a reduced journey from birth to death, at the end we are standing with Mrowinski on a beautiful stretch of beach, overlooking an unfathomable ocean as the heat of the sun in the cloudless sky gives us the strength to unburden ourselves and strive to leave a memorable footprint behind.

Although, this exquisite production had only one lightening bolt show at United Solo, it moves on to the PolArt Festival at the Melbourne Arts Centre and I am sure will tour extensively. I urge you to make your way to Theatre Row so that you too could experience an unforgettable one night stand with one of these truly sensational solo shows.

Patricia Di Risio - Stage whispers

This is a piece of drama that was first written in Polish in 1990, however, its ability to be redrafted with more contemporary events and themes shows how its fundamental concerns are issues that will never be outdated. The wavering moral compass that guides the musings of the characters ranges from delusions of grandeur to touching and disturbing insight into the flawed and often rapacious character of humanity.

Mrowinski’s view of the dire state of politics comes from somewhere beyond mere cynicism or jaded perspectives. The dark and grotesque scourges such as corruption, totalitarianism and the threat of Armageddon render the play elegiac yet this is finely balanced by its profound beauty and richness. This is a truly exquisite example of Monodrama and the influence of practitioners such as Jerzy Grotowski and Peter Brook upon Mrowinski’s oeuvre is extremely palpable.

Kennedy brings this incredibly lyrical text to life in a manner that matches the passion and intensity of the language. He is fully in command and control of every syllable and expertly controls the complex rhythm and pace of its poetic quality. The experience is enormously visceral while also stirring the imagination, allowing the characters or figures to be fully conjured in the space and present on stage. This brings him in direct dialogue with the spectator and produces a captivating and engrossing theatrical event.

Lee Bemrose – Australian Stage Online

One hour. One actor. A whole lot of words and ideas. That's mono-drama, baby, and it has to be hard work making it look this easy.

Stefan Mrowinski provides the text and direction, actor Steven Kennedy brings the story to life, on this occasion in the downstairs theatre at the wonderfully quirky Butterfly Club. Set and sound design are minimal, so the focus really is on this one performer and his arsenal of words. He'd better be damned good if this is going to be any good.

It's raining. Lots of rain. Biblical rain, as the biblically named Jeremiah tells his story. The situation is not completely clear in the beginning. Who is Jeremiah? What is it with Tuesdays and rain and what is he looking for with those gold binoculars? Where is he? Is he hiding? Who from?

It's intriguing from the start as this strange, Catweazle-like character (but better looking and with a more impressive beard) tells us a story, his story, stories within stories. But Jeremiah ain't no Catweazle. He is something far darker, more of this world even though there is something more of-another-world feel to Jeremiah and his current situation.

Jeremiah's Tuesday is an observation of politics, humanity and power, and how dangerous and ultimately – perhaps inevitably – fragile the mix is. Apparently first written 25 years ago, it would appear to have been updated somewhat to include some current world affairs, whilst at the core of the thing... lets just say some things never change. There is plenty to recognise here from history old and recent.

The play is well paced and well structured with the text often poetic and playful, as well as slightly surreal. In fact there was a faintly surreal feel about the whole thing. Maybe not surreal, just otherworldly. Think Catweazle as a dethroned despot in hiding, finally accepting the fact that you and I and he together brought about his downfall.

I have it on good authority that the narrative during this performance might have been occasionally confusing due to opening night jitters and forgotten lines. I simply thought any minor plot obscurity was due to the nature of the thing, the kind of story that demands you pay attention. Overall the narrative came together and I certainly saw no sign From Mr Kennedy that he had fluffed anything. It was a seamless and thoroughly engaging performance.

So was it any good? Yeah, it was pretty damn good.

Black Stamp Productions have been invited to take Jeremiah's Tuesday to the United Solo Festival on Broadway, no less. It was a brief run here (last chance to see it tomorrow if this review goes up tonight) but hopefully it will do well in New York and see another run here.

Pop-y Culture – Stacey waters

Jeremiah’s Tuesday writer & director Steven Mrowinski describes it as a black grotesque satirical production that relates heavily to today’s political scene despite being written in the past.

Steven Kennedy stars in this one man piece, spending an hour speaking upon the stage with very few props and very little movement. His performance is captivating, words resounding strongly around the intimate setting of The Butterfly Club. The minute movements that he makes over the stage are purposeful and enamouring, drawing the audience’s attention with every step. An actor with any less of Kennedy’s talents would be a disaster in this part, but Kennedy is superb and a delight to observe.

The writing of the play is well structured; it steps through various metaphors in a coherent manner enabling the audience to easily follow and understand its direction. I was able to have a brief chat with writer and director Steven Mrowinski after the performance about some clear themes and meanings throughout the show. The character of Jeremiah hales from a biblical setting, with an unnamed character in the performance filling the spot of Jesus.

Mrowinski describes the writing as a throw back to a different time, but with current political elements placed throughout, the idea that a different time still has the same political dramas and issues, as well as individuals bringing their own wants and needs to the forefront.

Jeremiah’s Tuesday is a superbly written and acted performance that deals with the nature of a dictator and the demise of a democracy.

Theatre people – Tom Bensley

A man stands alone on stage. A heavy, grey beard hugs his face and he squints. Gold binoculars hang round his neck and he wears an open vest, tattered brown cut-offs and shining gold boots. Eerie wails cackle out of the speakers and torrents of rain slap down, drowning the earth outside this man’s cave.

He is Jeremiah, and this is Jeremiah’s Tuesday, a monodrama performed by Steven Kennedy and created by Stefan Mrowinski. Jeremiah’s Tuesday tells the story of Jeremiah, an ex-dictator of a “totalitarian democracy” who has watched his world fall to pieces. Now he rants and raves inside a non-space while rain falls forever outside.

The play is at times disturbing and captivating, often dull and incomprehensible, yet always intriguing. Mrowinski’s dialogue alienates its audience and invites them to think about the meaning, potential irony and dubious sincerity of Jeremiah’s words.

Mrowinski’s script borrows heavily from the legends of the Theatre of the Absurd. Themes of alienation, yearning, desire and loss take centre stage as Jeremiah laments the loss of his democracy, which he calls “she”, before describing their very torrid relationship full of slavery, “fucking” and power struggles.

In his 1960 essay “The Theatre of the Absurd”, Martin Esslin said that absurd theatre might be the “theatre of our times”. It pushed back against the realism of playwrights like Henrik Ibsen, who believed in the evolution and progress of humanity. A precursor to Postmodernism, the theatre of the absurd challenged its audience’s ability to understand what it was seeing. Dialogue was often meaningless, actors alienated the audience (especially in Brecht’s case) and it presented “a world without faith, meaning and genuine freedom of will.”

Emanating out of Europe, a lot of absurdist theatre was politically and socially charged. It professed a deep dissatisfaction with political authority, an abandonment of God and disillusionment with human progress. Coming at the end of World War Two, licked by the flames of such tragedies as Hitler’s reign and the bombing of Hiroshima, the absurd movement made sense. It was a kind of speechless reaction to the terrible things humans were capable of. It seemed no longer fitting to celebrate our progress when we had caused so much pain.

But is it still relevant? Jeremiah’s Tuesday is undoubtedly politically charged and brimming with passion. The apocalyptic, rainy setting suggests some sort of global warming disaster, though the cause of the rain that started “that Tuesday…” is never explained. Jeremiah likens detention centres to concentration camps, compares himself to history’s most infamous leaders and blames humanity for alienating and imprisoning itself.

To borrow from that old creative writing adage, it threw a bowl of spaghetti at the wall and let everything stick.

Though it was a valiant effort on Kennedy and Mrowinski’s part, their supercharged attack on totalitarianism swirled around in its own dreamscape and failed to break out. It was specific enough that it took place in some place and time, but too vague to make it clear where that actually was. As a result the totalitarian satire felt dated and irrelevant, much like Jacobs’ and Griffiths’ interpretation of Antigone this August.

Despite the misfires, the play’s performer gives it his all.

Kennedy’s performance is eccentric and nervous. He opens his eyes wide, his hands shake and he barks out his lines like an army general losing his marbles. With only a bucket for a prop flood lighting for atmosphere, Kennedy remains captivating as the possibly crazy, maybe just a hallucination Jeremiah, speaking for all of humanity and embodying a character for himself.

A human sounding box, Kennedy slaps his body and stamps a foot for emphasis, displaying some real, old-school talent as a trained actor. Every line is perfectly articulated (if contextually absurd) and he wholly embodies a difficult character, who is with and without individuality.

Jeremiah’s Tuesday is a brave and strange project. It provides a lot of food for thought but it’s difficult to swallow. The thematically rich script is often too far removed from the world, like Jeremiah himself who babbles to an audience about his lost kingdom, his words drowning and disappearing in the falling rain. As a result the play is more like a soapbox lecture than an entertaining performance, but still worth the watch for its energetic performer and attempt to revive absurdist theatre.

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28 April 15

WE DID IT! - WE'RE OFF TO NEW YORK CITY!!

Since 2011 I have been involved in the development of an amazing monodrama with master director Stefan Mrowinski. Earlier this year we applied to the United Solo Festival and we have been accepted! I am very excited to announce that we are heading to NYC in October 2015.

Here is a little bit about the play....

Jeremiah - the "Weeping prophet" 655 BC - 586 BC.

Jeremiah’s Tuesday was first drafted in Polish in 1990. It was translated to English in 1997 by Robert Reisner and published in The World of Monodrama – Stefan Mrowinski in 2007.

In early 2011 Mrowinski cast Steven Kennedy after the two had worked together on Leonard Radic’s The Revengers Comedy.

In 2012 it was redrafted by Mrowinski and Kennedy – modernizing the language and adapting the play for the stage.

The pair spent 2013 working on other projects and in 2014 their focus returned to Jeremiahs Tuesday, meeting regularly to discuss the piece and strategize on its staging.

During those discussions they both recognized the political landscape in Australia was changing and that there was a hint fascism in the air. The arab spring was also a hot topic of conversation.

The 2012 redraft was set 25 years in the past… It became logical to reverse the setting to the future and change the protagonist at the core of the piece from a socialist/communist dictator to a democratic dictator.

SHORT SYNOPSIS

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. This postmodern, poetic, black grotesque monodrama explores dictatorship with metaphysical satire. Creator of his own political, social, military and religious system, Jeremiah’s international “totalitarian democracy” has crumbled and he is in hiding, post-revolution. He patiently awaits his executioners as a second deluge floods the planet.

LONG SYNOPSIS

The essential theme of Jeremiah’s Tuesday is the unquenchable thirst of the human ego and the tendency towards delusions of grandeur under the influence of all encompassing power.

The piece uncovers the satirical nature of a dictator in a metaphysical way. Set in the future, it poetically explores the vertical cliff face we are hurtling towards – the demise of representative democracy.

The play is a prophetic treatise on the current political zeitgeist ie: the use of mass media propaganda to fool the masses into supporting totalitarian creep and believing in the concept of a “New World Order”.

Dramatically the piece works due to the creation of an oppressive atmosphere, signaling the approaching death of our protagonist, and of his regime. With Jeremiah’s death so dies democracy.

Jeremiah, in his dreams and ambitions is a prophet and savior. He is the supreme dictator. Comparisons could be made between Jeremiah and history’s most ruthless leaders – Caligula, Nero, Stalin, Hitler, Amin etc… However, some or perhaps all that the character says could be the product of fantasy and imagination.

The text and style is, at times, harshly visceral and confronting at others beautifully lyrical and compassionate.

The action of “ The Jeremiah’s Tuesday “ takes place in nature. On a golden sandy beach, by the deep blue sea, under an intense blue sky.


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17 March 15

THEATEROTICA

In mid 2013 I founded a theatre company - Theaterotica. Here is an interview i did with Australianstage.com.au. Discussing the company and our first few seasons of MONOROTICA.

When, why and how did you come up with the idea of forming Theatrerotica?
In early 2013 I went to a sex positive retreat – a weekend of workshops on everything from kissing to rope bondage, tantra and BDSM. It made me realise there is a lot of positive events and performance taking place in and around Melbourne with respect to sex. Melbourne has a certain maturity around sex and it was a pleasant surprise to be around a great bunch of people who were openly discussing sex in all its beautiful manifestations.

Soon after I began attending some spoken word and erotic reading events realised that, although sex is celebrated and featured in every other art form there was very little in the way of sex positive theatre taking place.

Writers were reading their erotica to a captivated audience and, as someone with a theatre background, I couldn’t help thinking just how much better an actor could perform those words. No offence at all to the writers – I see it as a natural progression – they were reading their work from the page – my actors have memorised and perform it with the truth it requires. It makes for a much steamier and expressive experience.

There's plenty of burlesque theatre out there – do we really need a theatre company dedicated to erotica?
Yes! What we do is very different from burlesque. Melbourne is producing some amazing burlesque right now but I wouldn’t class it as theatre. Theaterotica has sourced erotic writing from around the world and has a cast of talented actors giving truthful performances. I think audiences would agree that Monoritica will get you hot under the collar but it will also make you think.

Tell us about your first production, Monorotica.

Monorotica is a mixture of monologues, poems and songs about sex. We have attempted to cover as much of the sexuality spectrum as possible from vanilla to hardcore BDSM with some humour in between to keep it light hearted.

Monorotica had a short preview season. How did that go?It was a huge success.

The preview season was all about testing the genre to assess how well it would be received. I was very proud of my courageous actors and just how funny some of these works are and how confronting others are. The feedback so far has been very positive.

It's a reasonably unusual concept. How did you feel as producer and director of that first show?

I was quietly confident that I was onto a good thing but I was still freaking out a little as opening night approached. Sexuality is a moral minefield in this country and there is still a high level of variance in our relationship to society’s and indeed our own sexuality. Having chosen all of the writing myself I was conscious that some of the pieces could take people out of their comfort zone at the same time as not being interesting to others. So a lot of my thinking was centred around balancing the kink with the vanilla, and providing enough flavour in between to appeal to as wide an audience as possible.

As for directing – I made sure I cast phenomenal actors who are capable of working autonomously. We discussed the basics and then I left them to create something within those initial constraints and when they came back with something I simply tinkled at the edges – they made my job easy with their high level of commitment and professionalism.

Will this season be a re-run of the former season, or is it a completely new show?

It's mostly a new show. Three monologues and one song from the first show will be included in the premiere season. We are rehearsing an additional five pieces for the Butterfly Club season.

You've drawn on the talents of several writers and many actors for this project. What was the selection process like? What were you looking for in the writing and the actors?

It was quite difficult to find the writing. There is a lot of very good quality erotica, but it’s written for the page not the stage and cannot be easily adapted. The first cut was taboo topics. Then it had to be the right length, contain the right amount of explicit content (a lot of it wasn’t explicit enough!), not be dialogue heavy and also be relatively easy to stage (one well written submission featured a warm water fountain that was being used to bring a women to orgasm).

Another very important constraint – no ‘floral’ descriptions were acceptable – anything that attempted to describe pubic hair was deleted immediately and words like “throbbing/pulsating” coupled with “member” definitely didn’t make the cut. Descriptions of emotions or feelings were also removed – its the responsibility of the actor to portray those qualities.

Perhaps the difficulty in finding the right mix was a function of how little history we have in featuring sexual content in the theatre.

The casting process was also challenging – the biggest problem was finding actors with the right level of courage and a sex positive attitude. It’s quite a different thing to consider yourself sexually open and actually putting yourself out in front of an audience. To test the actors’ metle at the audition I asked them to cold read an explicit section of one of the monologues and then asked them what they thought of it – this was pretty effective in sorting out where people were at.

The first season was pretty varied in style and content. Do you aim in any way to make the production gel, or are you content to produce a show with many personalities, as it were?That is very much intentional and I feel it’s the only way these monologues can be presented. Monorotica is catering to a wide range of tastes – we all have different expressions of our own sexuality, therefore a production of this kind has to be varied.

I didn’t want the show to progress from the least explicit to the most, or contain any other progression of style or content, because that’s too predictable. I’d much rather audiences are left wondering what’s next instead of knowing. It is also essential to lessen the impact of the pieces by separating them.

There were some pretty hardcore pieces in the last production, but also a fair amount of humour. How important is humour to you when producing these erotic monologues?I found the humour an essential element in the production. We are too serious about sex. So it was mandatory for me to give audiences the opportunity to have a good laugh at something sexy.

That’s what this project is all about. I want to encourage the free expression of sexuality and begin a conversation. Laughter is a great way to break down barriers and creative a feeling of inclusion. If we can laugh about the same things we are creating a space for wider communications and acceptance of the themes presented.

In addition, I realised early in the development of the show that humour would be hugely important to the cast. Laughter is one of the few ways of providing audience feedback in real time and is a classic ice breaker. It gives the cast behind the curtain a huge boost when “they’re cracking up”. It helps them maintain confidence in the production and nail the more explicit pieces.

You're no stranger to the stage, but how is the experience of appearing in your own production? Wouldn't it have been easier to pull back and just focus on the writing and directing?

Absolutely! Yes and I’m hoping to do that this time around. It was the plan to begin with. But I was a victim of circumstance and to actors either overcommitting or losing the wherewithal to go through with the challenge. I had three actors pull out in one day – and this was before rehearsal had even started. So I called on a couple of talented friends to help me out and stepped in to perform a couple myself.

When it comes to erotica, it's very easy to get it wrong. I offer the bafflingly successful 50 Shades Of Grey as an example. When you're immersed in a production like this, how difficult is it to make sure you don't step over that fine line and make something that might make audiences cringe, rather than engage them?This was probably the thing that made me lose the most sleep – 50 Shades was such a success.

Seriously though I just made sure I read as many pieces as possible, so I knew I had the best writing I could find in the limited time, and when I had my shortlist I just kept on reading them and assessing every single aspect of what they were saying.

I was certain that if the writing was good and the performances were stellar then the subject matter would pass the test – for the simple reason I outlined above – we are catering to wide tastes here. If the right theatrical ingredients are there people realise that what may not be their cup of tea may be perfectly suited to the person sitting next to them…

What do you think are the differences between porn and erotica?

At the risk of generalising I’d say porn is androcentric… (with the exception of the sub genres such as slow porn and feminist porn) and that erotica is gynocentric.

Another blatant generalisation – erotica appeals to female bodied individuals porn male bodied individuals.

Interestingly – a significant majority of erotic writers are women and 80% of the actors who came forward for this production were women.

What's next for Theatrerotica? More monologues or something different?
I’m keen to see how the next season goes. There are many more monologues that could be brought to the stage.

I’ve been toying with the idea of a series of one act plays and eventually producing a full length erotic play.

We’ll have to see how Melbourne handles this season first though!

Who is going to like your show?

I am – along with anyone that likes to see edgy theatre that will make you laugh and perhaps expand your understanding of your own sexuality.

Is there a line from the show that best captures its essence?

“Every man and every women and every intermediately sexed individual shall be absolutely free to interpret and communicate self by means of any sexual practices whatsoever.”


Monorotica plays at The Butterfly Club 18 – 23 February, 2014 Details»

I was extremely happy with the show and had rarely been so proud of myself and what i had achieved.I had produced and directed my first show - and for the feature season I even operated the lights and performed the finale with a song and dance - in a bee suit no less!

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Ever since my first short film audition at the beginning of the century I have been passionately and conscientiously shaping my career as an actor. Honing my skills, building my knowledge and experience and patiently planning the arc of this part of my life.

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