My name is Whitney, and I have been the Programs and Admin Coordinator at Griffin for 2.75 years. I am a fairly permanent fixture in the office, on the phones and most recently at my dining room table. I have a lot of energy and run everything admin, events, scheduling, spontaneous BBQs, and the like. Dealing with many different facets of Griffin, it’s likely I’ve spoken to you at some point—whether I’ve answered a question about how you can audition for us, sold you a gift certificate intended for your kids to “give them a bit of culture” or made you a hot cuppa when you got caught in the rain before a performance.
Ever since I saw Bran Nue Dae as a little girl at the Matt Dann Centre in Port Hedland, I knew theatre was a magical, colossal place that I wanted to escape into. It’s been a wild journey to get me where I’ve landed at Griffin, but I can’t see my life without theatre in it. I live for opening doors and making this industry as welcoming and accessible as possible, especially for young people that happen to cross my path.
Which brings me to one of the programs I’m most passionate about at Griffin. Griffin Ambassadors is a unique program that gives a group of year 10-12 students access to unfiltered theatre for a whole year. When I see the students after the performances, I am eager to note the extra sparkle in their eye. I like to think that it opens their hearts in the way that Bran Nue Dae filled me with song, story and possibility.
During lockdown, we’ve offered a crash course on playwriting for the Ambassadors led by Griffin’s Literary Associate Julian Larnach. The uptake has been small but impressively determined (you can read more about some of our Ambassadors here or here). As the weeks went on, we got sillier—we dressed up as our favourite literary characters, we debated important issues (such as Team Edward vs Team Jacob), we showed them scripts riddled with juicy subtext. The whole experience has been a genuine antidote to constant cancellations and depressing news.
I miss the antics of the busy office and theatre, but I do enjoy the resourcefulness inherent in theatre people that comes from lockdowns. I truly hope all of you reading this are finding ways to keep your theatre brains active, finding time for silliness and helping out people that might be struggling.
Stay safe, stay creative,
Programs & Administration Coordinator