Volunteer Profile: Peter O'Connell


What do you love about theatre?
People sharing stories has been an integral part of communities since beginnings of humankind, and remains as fundamentally important to our social wellbeing today. Theatre, and particularly theatre that is accessible to everyone, maintains and advances the tradition of shared storytelling, and as such has the power to change our communities and the world.

Why are you a donor to Griffin?
Griffin is for me the embodiment theatre for the wider community.  It promotes emerging writers, performers, companies and directors, supports the development and staging of new works, and has outreach programs that extend through all levels of  the local community to break down the elitist reputation that live theatre can develop.   So if my donation helps Griffin toward achieving just part of this big agenda then that is a very satisfying feeling indeed, and makes me feel more connected to my local community.

What made you decide to volunteer at Griffin?
In addition to being a donor I wondered if there was some other way of making a practical contribution to Griffin’s work.  I also have to admit to a selfish interest here too. There is a vibrancy around Griffin and having personally been involved in performance for over a decade I felt that I would like to be immersed (or at least dip my toe) in the Griffin environment.  And I certainly have been rewarded on both counts – the buzz that I feel in the theatre is just as strong among the Griffin team that make those exciting performances happen.
Most memorable theatre experience?
Sydney in 2006, the world premier of Nigel Jamieson’s and Garry Stewart’s Honour Bound.  The performance integrated dance, film, theatre and aerial performance to graphically portray the story of David Hicks and other detainees at Guantanamo Bay.  It was an absolutely visceral experience that left me feeling shaken, inspired and totally in awe of the power of theatre.
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