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Director Catherine Fitzgerald says, "This compilation of contemporary plays offers a variety of lenses through which to view our conflicted world. The plays are political, edgy, compassionate, humorous, and very, very moving. A must see for everyone who has ever had, or been a mother."
Love2Read National Program
Over the course of one hour, War Mother is a concentrated examination of humankind, motherhood, our relationship with power, government, war, terrorism and repression. It highlights motherhood, explosives, a Minister of Culture, a touch of humour, cold hard facts and a frightening and all too familiar world.
A synopsis of the three plays:
Press Conference by Harold Pinter
In this horrifying black comedy Noble Prize writer, Harold Pinter portrayed the Minister of Culture and the former Head of Police in a totalitarian state, who answered questions regarding his government's policy on the frequent raping and killing of women and children.
Harold Pinter - Nobel Prize Winning Playwright.
A Mother by Franca Rame and Nobel Laureate Dario Fo
Even though it was written in the 1970s, during the period of the Red Brigades, this play still remains as relevant as ever today. A middle-class mother delivers a disturbing monologue expressing her shock and dismay as she watches television one night and sees her son arrested as a terrorist captured after a killing. She questions herself as to where she went wrong as a parent.
Nobel Prize Winning Author - Dario Fo.
Switch by Marjolijn van Heemstra
In a riveting and suspenseful monologue, a mother tells her daughter her reasons to engage as a suicide bomber. Her revelations collide with humanity as she tells of her horrific experiences while living in an occupied country where she witnessed her family members killed, raped and her home destroyed. The suspense climaxes as we await her decision to see if her maternal instinct will overcome her reasons for revenge.
The three songs:The Song of the German Mother, On Suicide, The Flower Garden composed by Bertolt Brecht and close friend and collaborator Han Eisler, translated by John Willett.
Bertolt Brecht and Han Eisler
Catherine is a director, writer and actor. She trained as an actor at Flinders University Drama Centre (1979 -1982) and worked primarily as an actor for over 14 years, working in theatre, film and TV. In the early '90s she was Artistic Director of Mainstreet Theatre and Artistic Director of Vitalstatistix National Women's Theatre from 1996-2002, where she produced and/or directed over 40 productions and events. For State Theatre Company she has directed The Zoo Story, The Misanthrope, The Memory of Water, Third World Blues, Proof, Salt, Boston Marriage, Frozen, The Female of the Species and The Give and Take.
Her writing credits include: Just a Little Crooked Around the Edge, (Sydney Mardi Gras and Slip of the Tongue, London), Boo! (Windmill and Mainstreet Theatre), Celebrity Vaudeville (MRPG) and (it)DRY (Port Augusta Re-Imagines!). Catherine also co-wrote Titbits! and Bull Bar Tours (Vitalstatistix). In 2003 she was awarded the Centenary Medal for the development of women artists in South Australia through Vitalstatistix. She is the current State Theatre Company Associate Director.
Anni studied Physical Theatre and Suzuki training at the SITI Company and Film and Theatre at the Atlantic Theater Company, both in New York. Her theatre credits include Boom Bah! (Windmill Theatre), Memmie Le Blanc (Deckchair Theatre Company), Love (Vitalstastix), Marcha (One Act Company) and A Streetcar Named Desire (SITI Company Summer Program, New York). Her film and television credits include Look Both Ways, Edge Of Reality, Elephant Tales and Carmilla Hyde.
Eileen's experience in theatre and film performance spans 29 years. On graduating from Flinders University Drama Centre in 1983 she joined the Troupe Theatre ensemble, then Magpie Theatre Company, and was subsequently a long-term collective member of Red Shed Theatre Company. Her innumerable performances at Red Shed include Carthaginians, All Souls, Because You Are Mine, Frankenstein's Children, Dog Eat Dog, Sweetown and In Cahoots. Eileen has performed extensively for Vitalstatistix and Patch Theatre and for the Adelaide Festival Centre. Her feature film work includes performances as Amelia in Serenades and Shirley in Australian Rules. For State Theatre Company Eileen has appeared in The Misanthrope, Don's Party, Morning Sacrifice, Three Birds Alighting on a Field, Arabian Nights, Salt, Jonah and Carrying Light.
Eileen also works as a singer, crossing the genres of folk, jazz and cabaret. She has performed in many music theatre pieces, including most recently Melissa Reeve's Tough Girls (Vitalstatistix), Rockin' the Boat (2009 Port Festival and 2010 Waterside) and A Night With the Flying Horses (2010 Adelaide Cabaret Festival) with Darley, Day and Tin Can Alley.
War Mother will take place in the Space Theatre. After the Adelaide season it will tour selected South Australian suburbs and country regions. For tour details please refer to State Theatre Company of South Australia website.