5 Quick Questions with Jennifer Sarah Dean

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How did the Melbourne Shakespeare Company come about?

To be honest because I couldn’t believe there wasn’t already a Melbourne Shakespeare Company! We formed the company because we love Shakespeare and wanted to work with other like-minded people to create easily accessible, dynamic, engaging productions using Shakespeare’s inspirational texts.

What made you choose A Midsummer Night’s Dream as the company’s first show?

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the first play I studied at school so it has always had a place in my heart; it is the perfect combination of magic, comedy and romance. I have always wanted to direct the piece with a contemporary edge and when the opportunity to produce something at the Testing Grounds came up it seemed the perfect fit; this little pocket of greenery sandwiched between high rise buildings and busy roads!

What is your favourite moment in the show?

That is tough, there are so many great moments! I love the lovers big fight scene in Act 3 which in our interpretation is incredibly physical and high energy, and the mechanicals play at the end has me (and audience members) crying with laughter every time!

What inspired you to become a director in the first place?

I love the theatre and telling stories, being able to bring a text to life and share a story with people is an incredible privilege.

What has been a highlight in your time spent in theatre?

The highlight so far was getting to work at the Sydney Opera House last year, it is such an iconic space, and it was an honour to be part of a production there.

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Eleanor’s Story Comes to Chapel off Chapel – an interview with Ingrid Garner

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What was the inspiration behind your show?
Eleanor’s Story is a theatrical adaptation of my grandmother’s best-selling memoir of her youth, growing up as an American caught in World War II Berlin. In 1939, when she was nine, Eleanor’s family moved from the US to Germany, where a great job awaited her father in Berlin. But war broke out when they crossed the Atlantic, and returning to America became impossible. Her family faced hunger, fascist oppression, carpet bombings, the Russian invasion and the terrors of Soviet occupancy.

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Juliette Burton on how to survive the Fringe Festival circuit

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Every year, artists make their way across the world to present their shows to new audiences. From Melbourne to Adelaide, and New Zealand to Edinburgh, these artists dedicate their time, passion and energy into putting on shows that many often haven’t heard about. For solo artists, this is particularly hard, as they are often running every aspect of the show themselves, including performing, marketing, flyering and so much more.

Maggie Journal had the chance to chat with three Adelaide Fringe artists about their experiences as a solo performer and their tips for surviving the Fringe circuit. First up is Juliette Burton.

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Top moments of 2015

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Once again, it’s that time of year to write about my favourite things, namely my favourite shows of 2015. So without any further ado…

Favourite shows of 2015 (in chronological order):

Backwards (created by Emily Taylor, MICF)

Lawrence Leung: The Escapist (created by Lawrence Leung, MICF)

Timeshare (written by Lally Katz, Malthouse Theatre)

The Dust and Us (presented by Human Animal Exchange, La Mama Courthouse)

Shit (presented by Dee & Cornelius, MTC Neon)

We Get It (presented by Elbow Room, MTC Neon)

Richard III (performed by Emily Carding, Edinburgh Fringe)

Suburbia (presented by Gold Santino, Melbourne Fringe)

Gin Sister (presented by Man With A Plan, Poppy Seed Festival)

The One (presented by Fire Curtin Co., Poppy Seed Festival)

Special mentions: Wander Women (created by Chelsea Hughes, Lauren Bok & Megan McKay, MICF), I Call My Brothers (directed by Nadja Kostich, MTC), The Platform @ La Mama Collaboration (presented by Platform Youth Theatre, La Mama Theatre), Wasted (written & directed by Kat Woods, Edinburgh Fringe), Welcome To Nowhere (written by Angus Cerini, Zoey Dawson, Daniel Keene, Fleur Kilpatrick & Morgan Rose, Melbourne Fringe) and Someone Like Thomas Banks (presented by Platform Youth Theatre & Straightjacket Productions, fortyfivedownstairs)

Other highlights of 2015

Best films: Inside Out and Stories I Want To Tell You In Person. And seeing many amazing films as part of the Girls on Film Festival, including Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion, The Loved Ones, Whip It, Thelma and Louise and Desperately Seeking Susan.

Best tv shows: Parks and Recreation (oh how I miss it!) and iZombie