Conversation with the audience: Sven Swenson (Interview 4)

Photo: Leesa Connelly

I’ve known Sven Swenson and admired his work since 1996, the year his first play Vertigo and the Virginia workshopped for Queensland Theatre Company.  Since then Sven’s completed 15 plays, but he notes there are 33 others “in various stages of disrepair.”  His latest work, The Bitterling premieres next week as the opening production of the inaugural La Boite Indie program; ‘opening’ and ‘inaugural’ – a lot of firsts, and a lot of expectations.  He’s writer and director.

He tells me, “We know we are the indie guinea-pigs, we’re all keenly aware of this.  There is constant dialogue between the participants and La Boite, who are extremely supportive and available.  They have a genuine and profound desire to see good indie theatre develop.”  He goes on, “There’s a real air of excitement right now, and it’s helping us to create at our best.”

I’m glad to catch up with Sven, one of Brisbane’s most prolific and also proudly parochial writers.  I want to know more about the inaugural winner (2002) for Road to the She Devil’s Salon and then finalist (2008) of the prestigious Queensland Premier’s Drama Award.  His play Beautiful Souls was produced Off-Broadway (2007) and also in Los Angeles.  Among other things we talk about beginnings, influences, how he works, and the local theatre scene. He has a few surprises for me along the way. Continue reading Conversation with the audience: Sven Swenson (Interview 4)

Out of bed and on the job: David Burton (Interview 2)

David Burton

I was delighted to speak with David – Dave to his friends – Burton late last week about his playwrighting, and especially his latest work Lazarus Won’t Get Out of Bed.  I can tell from the outset that he is upbeat – excited even.  It was a good opening night the preceding evening – the buzz is good he tells me.  But as we talk I can see that he’s just as excited by the opportunities that are out there for a young playwright. “I can’t keep up; anyone who says there aren’t enough creative development opportunities or support programs for young writers is not trying hard enough, or not looking in the right places.” We go on to speak a lot about support during the course of our conversation; it becomes a theme almost. Continue reading Out of bed and on the job: David Burton (Interview 2)