2020 was a one star (★) year. But the support our Grif-family gave us was five stars (★★★★★)! One of our superstar supporters is emerging playwright and theatre lover Grace Chapple. Grace donated for the first time in 2020 and is also a part of our inaugural Artist Membership program, which offers exclusive access to the inner workings of Griffin for a small monthly contribution. This End of Financial Year, we chatted to Grace about her love of new Australian stories, and why she’s so passionate about Griffin.
1. Tell us a little about yourself and your history with Griffin Theatre Company! What was the first Griffin show you saw? How long have you been a supporter of Griffin?
I’m a playwright, which means I am honour-bound to adore Griffin and its new writing ethos. I saw my first Griffin show long before I knew anything about the company. I was 15 years old and living in Perth when I saw Tom Holloway‘s Love Me Tender on a school trip to Sydney. I’ve never forgotten it. I think it was the first time I saw what theatre could be, that it was more than old European texts and life-like naturalism, but something much more alive, and weird, and brilliant. I can barely even remember what the play was about, but I remember vividly how it made me feel; disturbed, engrossed, and hungry for more.
2. Do you have a favourite theatre memory at the SBW Stables Theatre?
My favourite memory of the SBW Stables Theatre was seeing my work performed for the first time as part of ATYP’s Intersection production. I could have been on the red carpet at the Oscars. I’d never felt so validated as an artist before, which I think we all like to pretend we don’t need, but it really made a huge difference to me as a young person setting out in this new field.
3. Why do you love theatre, and in particular, new Australian theatre?
I love theatre because of the shared experience of it. Not only am I feeling everything along with the rest of the audience, but with the actors too, in real time. We’re all in it together. With new Australian works, that experience is all the more heightened, because it’s like it’s happening for the first time. We are the pioneers, pushing out into new waters; maybe we’ll find gold, or at the very least, maybe we’ll get to say “We tried over here, let’s look that way instead.”
4. Why do you think it’s so important to support new Australian stories through Griffin Theatre Company?
Because otherwise the greatest playwrights of our age will have to go work in banks and marketing, and who knows what secrets may die with them.
If you, like Grace, are passionate about new Australian writing, consider supporting Griffin this End of Financial Year. More than ever, Griffin needs your star power to keep our stories shining.