The last time I sat down with Jason Klarwein to talk about theatre was 10 years ago, shortly after I had been appointed to the Board at Queensland Theatre Company. At that time Jason was in the first intake of the Company’s Emerging Artists program. I followed all of the artists over the course of the year and touched base with them from time to time about the experience. I had hours of audio interviews which I subsequently had transcribed and filed away for an article which has yet to be written. (Note to self: do something about this).
There’s an old saying that goes if you’re still in theatre 10 years after you begin that you’re there for life. If it is true, then Jason – actor and now Artistic Director of Queensland’s iconic Grin and Tonic Theatre Troupe – has passed the point of no return. He laughs when I point this out. With his first professional job for Disabled Arts The Glass Cage in 1996, he agrees that he is definitely well beyond the 10 year turning point. He joins what is becoming something of a league of newly-appointed artistic directors around Australia, many of whom cite ‘actor’ or ‘designer’ or ‘producer’ before ‘director’ as their theatre ‘speciality.’
I wanted to talk with Jason about what he’s been doing in the years since we last spoke in depth and, of course, about Grin and Tonic and his vision for its future. He’s already got a 5 Year Plan under way, and I managed to winkle out some of the ideas informing the first year at least. We spent a good 45 minutes or so having a mutually enjoyable rant about theatre things. There’s a lot to talk about. As to what he’s been doing in the interim, Jason lists five career highlights. Continue reading Jason Klarwein (Interview 15)