Next up for Griffin Independent is Elise Hearst’s beautiful play The Sea Project. We caught up with Elise to talk about the play, and what inspired her to write it.
The Sea Project is a beautiful play about migration, belonging and love – what inspired you to write the play?
The first image I had was that of a woman washed up on a shore without a single memory. And from there I always knew it would be some sort of love story. I guess I’m a romantic. Gush. But it quickly became apparent that this woman had not had an easy journey, and therefore it wouldn’t be an easy love story. When my grandparents came to this place they had to make very quick decisions, not necessarily based on love, but on survival. When one emerges from a war/ a shore/ a life before, what do they choose to remember and what do they choose to forget? How do they find love, or does love find them?
This is your second collaboration with director, Paige Rattray. Tell us about your working relationship and why you think Paige is such a good fit with your work.
Paige is ah-mazing to work with. I feel like our working relationship happens a lot in her car, hashing out the big ideas and making the big plans while munching on some lollies. Then when we get on the floor, I love seeing how she brings it all to life. Paige’s work is rooted strongly in the physical, and this really lifts the sparseness of my writing. She allows so much discovery in the silences, and I love that.
Audiences loved The Sea Project when it premiered earlier this year at the Earl Arts Centre in Tasmania, why do you think audiences connect with the play so strongly?
Without realising it I think I wrote a kind of Australian Play, with its central characters in a state of conflict; old vs new, intimacy vs distance, memory vs forgetting, Australian vs Other. But ultimately, I think people just really like a love story, and throw a naughty villain into the mix and you’ve got it made.
The Sea Project previews at the Stables from 5 September. Take advantage of our Early Bird offer of $23 tickets and book today. To take up this fantastic offer, book online and use the code word SHORE.