Staying true to the original reason for this blog (which was to create a holding pen for the zoo which is my theatre practice and thinking) I thought I would compile a triptych of posts that have featured on other sites – as a means of endorsement.
1. ATYP’s Fresh Ink Blog is essential reading for the emerging writer – full of tips and the who’s who of contemporary local playwriting. I really can’t speak highly enough of the team there and what they are doing to support and nurture artists. I chose a song by Tim Minchin (playwright and composer and all round ex-pat comedy hero.)
2. Griffin Theatre Company’s Artist Blog, wrangled by my friend and colleague Olivia Satchell – a visual and theatre community scrapbook to inspire or to stimulate conversation. Sometimes a playwright is at the helm guest bloggin it. My aim for this one was to include the names as many local and Australian artists as possible.
3. Chester Productions’ Blog for Melita Rowston’s play Crushed, appearing as a part of The Spare Room at New Theatre. Asked to write on the tag line “Bitter Sweet Sixteen.” I wrote about growing up in my home town.




(Video log of Australian theatre communities favourite love songs, compiled and introduced by Jessica Bellamy)

DAY 23, Act 23
“WELL, it’s about time we talked to Augusta Supple: playwright, director, creative producer, and writer of this excellent theatre blog, who has been very busy creating opportunities and advocating for playwrights throughout her career.

Some of her current projects worth taking a look at are Write Here, Write Now (which you can check out here) and The Arts Platform, a new venue for artists to develop work in (which you can check out here). It’s worth regularly checking out Augusta’s blog to keep an eye on her upcoming projects, including new work with Parramatta Riverside theatre and 7-On Playwrights Collective.

And with all these commitments, she still manages to share delicious baking recipes with the artistic community. Like this one here that, frankly, I wish I had never found.

Augusta’s favourite love song is Drowned by Tim Minchin:

Gus writes: “(How could I not choose an Aussie?) It’s a love song which is just so damn romantic in its anti-romance sentiment: “Your love is… like sand inside a bathing suit. A symphony with the sound on Mute”. Frankly, love is amazing and confusing and wonderful but also frustrating, sometimes badly timed, inconvenient and unexpected, confronting, astounding, distracting, confounding and irritating… and utterly all consuming…”

Beautifully put! Thanks for the song, Gus, from me and the extra 5kg of ‘baking memories’ I’m now carrying around…”




What are you working on currently?
After just over 2 months of writing and meeting, I’ve just hosted the first reading of a project I’m developing with 10 playwrights called “Write Here, Write Now” (Carolyn Burns, Jasper Marlow, Melita Rowston, Georgia Symons, Grace de Morgan, Luke Carson, James Pike, Melissa Lee Speyer, Guy Birks, Alli Sebastian Wolf).

Currently preparing to work with David Finnigan on his piece “The World Creates Itself” as a part of subtlenuance’s Bare Boards Brave Hearts in July.

I have a multi-playwright project I am in the process of developing called “A View From Moving Windows”, which is included in Riverside Theatre’s 2012 True West season in October. Writers yet to be announced (or approached, really… yeah, better get on that asap!)

I am dramaturg for Olivia Satchell’s project on the world of internet dating called “Heart Dot Com” working with Luke Carson, Ellana Costa, Alison Rooke, Jasper Marlow, Katie Pollock scheduled for production in November.

I am directing 7-On Playwright’s pop-up project “Platonic” which is going into development in November at NIDA then into production at the end of the year to celebrate 7-On Playwright’s 7th Year together. They’re pretty cool: http://sevenon.blogspot.com.au/

I am assisting with the start up of a new development venue in Surry Hills called The Arts Platform. Sama Ky Balson is the Artistic Director, Kirk Page is the Associate Director and I am the Program Director – we’ve been harnessing the creative talents of Sydney theatre community and we’re going to be releasing Expressions of interest and membership details very soon…it’s so new out website isn’t up yet, but it will be soon: http://www.theartsplatform.com/

And the usual stuff for my website – responses and reflections on theatre, arts and culture: www.augustasupple.com

Who, or what, inspires you to create?
Everything around me inspires me: the weather, music, converations I have/conversations I don’t have and wish I had/conversations I overhear, spontaneous lunch time adventures to Cabramatta, art galleries, home made jams and relishes, clouds, the look on the face of the woman scanning my groceries at Coles, a man at a bus stop, the rhythm of my walk, 20th Century poets, American independent film, when I am confronted by someone’s tattoo, the kindness of strangers, 1950s musicals, the architecture of the city, my friends, my foes.

There is a push and a pull in creating. I’m simultaneously running towards and away from something.

I’m running away from boredom, fear, regret and I’m also running toward illumination, reassurance, epiphany, entertainment.

Mostly, I think I am absolutely consumed with the treasure hunt which is new work. I love reading new plays, I love seeing productions of new plays, I love talking with artists and critics and punters about theatre. And it is those conversations that compel me to create.

What was the most interesting thing you saw recently?
I can’t do definitive ultimate… I will list 5 things that caught my attention and made me thing differently this week:
The hands of the plumber I met last Saturday. They were so much older than the rest of him.
The Holy Mountain (1973) by Alejandro Jordorowsky.
A documentary on the history of the castrati.
John McCallum’s Key Note speech at The NSW Writers Centre:

Marilyn Manson interviewed by David Letterman in 2003 on You Tube.

Pandan Waffles

Production wise:
Food by Steve Rodgers/Kate Champion at Belvoir
Lord of the Flies directed by Anthony Skuse at New Theatre
L’Effet de Serge – Philippe Quesne/Vivarium Studio as a part of Sydney Festival 2012
Pygmalian by GB Shaw directed by Peter Evans at Sydney Theatre
Best We Forget devised by isthisyours at The Old Fitzroy Hotel Theatre

What is the best piece of advice that you’ve been given?
“Easiest way to not have post-production blues, just have another project lined up.” – Simon Philips
“Always hire someone who wants your job” – Robin Clifton
“Everything is an act of faith. Breathe” – Kerry Walker
“When working in theatre, it’s good to be a little bit incapable at something so someone who is capable can save the day.” – John Oram
“Take what you need, leave what you don’t” – Barbara Bryce
“Make work for the most intelligent person in the audience.” – Bogdan Koca
“If you can’t be a grand painter, be an expert miniaturist” – Timothy Daly
“Directors should never assume that just because they don’ t know how something will happen/work, doesn’t mean their designers can’t make that happen.” – Stephen Hawker
“Take a holiday.” – James Waites

Who, past or present, would you like to share a meal with and why?
Below is a quick A-Z of people I’d love to eat with – for their conversation and/ or cooking skills, orto simply ask them the questions you have asked me… or just because I think they would/could provoke in me an unstoppable, insatiable idea.
Robyn Archer
Katherine Brisbane
Rex Cramphorn
James Dean
Nick Enright
Margaret Fink
Galileo Galileo
Wayne Harrison
Michal Imielski
Linda Jaivin
Howard Keel
Frank Lloyd-Wright
Marliyn Manson or John McCallum (I can’t choose)
Felicity Nicol
John Oram
Roman Polanski
Philippe Quesne
Eleanor Roosevelt
Paul Simon
Margaret Thatcher
Peter Ustinov
Eddie Vedder
Margaret Wise Brown
Irene Xavier
William Yang
Catherine Zimdahl

What a lady. Keep an eye on Gus as one of our leading artist/blog critics. A tricky hybrid done with great panache by Ms Supple.


Guest Post for Melita Rowston’s play “Crushed”


(BITTER) SWEET SIXTEEN (or Nirvana in the Bananas)
The Crushed team have asked a few of our close friends to guest blog a response to our upcoming play. First up is Independent Theatre’s Superstar: writer, director, producer and all-round-creativity-facilitator Augusta Supple. We asked her to respond to Crushed’s tag line: BITTER SWEET SIXTEEN…

There wasn’t much that was sweet when I was sixteen.

Living in a small coastal town in the banana belt of NSW, there was little that linked me to the outside world. TV was limited to 4 channels, (I was secretly obsessed with Paul Reiser from Mad About You), and I was glued to Helen Razer’s voice and song choice on Triple J like a grommet clings to his surf board. While my face was buried in suspiciously pristine ancient history text-books with the vain hope that education would set me free from the shit hole I was trapped in.

It was the ’90s.

The dawn of the information age. The Gulf War. The Chechen War. The Bosnian War. Kosovo. Australia was having a recession it had to have. Bill Clinton played the sax and his sperm was found on a dress owned by a woman he did NOT have sexual relations with. Kurt Cobain had moaned his way through gritted teeth and a floppy fringe, then blew a hole in his head.

Sixteen for many was not so sweet. It was the age of pregnancy, the school certificate, apprenticeships and expulsion. Sixteen was my year of joining a punk band, writing abusive songs, the obligatory occasional social binge drinking, studying Hamlet, unrequited love affairs with boys who listened to Tool and Pink Floyd, memorizing slabs of T.S Eliot – all while topping my class and dreaming of my emancipated adult life.

I dreamed of a bright future where I didn’t have to ever, EVER confront the boring, dull, flat unprofitable world I was forced to grow up in.

I feared the future school reunion hoping I could forever avoid it… and earnestly hoped by the time it rolled around that I had made something of my life. Something. Anything better than the here and now.

At my local high school, kids wearing an improvised uniform sucked smoke from juice bottles and grinned through red eyes at their future. Flannelette shirts flapped as teens set fire to bins. Grunge was born. I dressed in my grandfather’s clothes and listened patiently as boys my age fumbled around with Metallica riffs on nylon string guitars. River Phoenix died and girls at my school attempted suicide. We were lectured on AIDS ad nauseum and spent long afternoons rolling condoms onto bananas, whilst the cooler kids were practicing the real thing in the scrubland that surrounded my school.

It all felt pointless really.

Skinny girls with no opinions got the boys, then had scrag fights on the school bus. Their earrings ripped out of ears. Blood. Torn singlet tops. Swearing. The boys would look on with dull eyes and not dare intervene. I sat quietly and wrote letters to people I had met who went to ‘other’ schools.

Inevitably, someone’s cool parents let us have a party at their place. I’d sit planning my future escape and watch as others had fun: Passion pop and Jim Beam. Malibu and Coke. Bongs. Magic mushrooms. Teens gnawing sloppily at each other’s faces, having a casual vomit, a micro-sleep, then continuing. At some stage a posse would form and we’d go on ‘missions’ stealing street signs or garden gnomes from unsuspecting homes. We ventured into the banana fields and sang Nirvana songs to keep each other awake. Lying on the ground on deserted country roads under the stars, we soaked up the warmth from the black bitumen and raged over arguments about reality and perception (teenage philosophy a plenty.) We knew it was all empty, all pointless – the universe too big, the world uncaring. Everything had been thought of before, everything had all been said before. We knew poverty could not and would not be ended by Bono or any other aging rock star who chose to wear rose-coloured sunglasses.

It wasn’t sweet. It was bitter.

Flash forward 16 years.

At the start new millennium the school reunion is unavoidable. It’s not a phyisical thing – it’s the casual surprise of a Facebook ‘friend’ request… sometimes from someone who has changed their name and judging by their photo has either regressed thirty years or had a baby.

Although I’m a world away from a drunken pash in the banana fields, the sting of school remains: the pointlessness, the feeling of being trapped in a shit hole, the dreams I had, the pressure I felt, the boys I loved, the friends I had. I watch the film clips, sing along to Hole or Pearl Jam. Yet the memory is not bitter. Not at all.

It’s sweet.’

Like what you’re reading? You can follow Augusta’s blog write here, write now: www.augustasupple.com
Like what you’re hearing? Then book your tickets to Crushed!