GETTING TO KNOW: KITTY MALAM

Kitty is a Canberra and Melbourne-based theatre practitioner who recently completed her Bachelor of Arts at Monash University. She is the co-creator and director of Left Lane Outreach Theatre, delivering interactive story-times in libraries as well as a range of pop up installation and performance works. Their next work, Bin Chickens will be presented at the 2020 Art Not Apart festival. Recently she has assistant directed Fleur Kilpatrick’s adaptation of Slaughterhouse Five (2019) at Theatre Works, performed in The Rabble’s My Dearworthy Darling (2019) at The Malthouse, and performed in Barking Spider Visual Theatre’s production of Forgiveness (2019), which toured to the Wuzhen International Theatre Festival in China. 

The Street talked to Kitty during rehearsals for Breaking The Castle opening soon.

YOU’VE BEEN INVOLVED IN MANY ASPECTS OF THEATRE-MAKING INCLUDING AS A PERFORMER AND DIRECTOR – WHY STAGE MANAGEMENT?

I love all elements of theatre making, as a director and performer I love being able to manifest ideas into meaningful moments onstage. So, as a stage manager I find it really rewarding being part of the process in bringing all the elements together. Stage managing is also a great opportunity to be in the room and observe the directors process. I have learnt so much from watching and listening to all the different creatives at work.

WHAT FOR YOU ARE THE ESSENTIAL SKILLS AND QUALITIES NECESSARY OF A STAGE MANAGER?

Alert, observant, organised and always one step ahead.

WHAT IS COMPELLING FOR YOU IN BREAKING THE CASTLE?

Breaking the Castle is an incredibly moving piece, it is so honest and has so much hope. It embodies some of the most overlooked issues, addiction and the lack of structural support in and around mental health issues in Australia.

WHAT IS IT LIKE BEING IN THE REHEARSAL ROOM WORKING ALONGSIDE DIRECTOR CAROLINE STACEY, AND CREATIVE TEAM TO REALISE THIS WORK?

Caroline is fantastic, the whole team has so much experience and skill that it has been amazing to see all the elements of the production come into focus. Being in the rehearsal room is an incredibly creative and invigorating space, and the passion that everyone brings to their roles is really inspiring.

YOU ARE WORKING WITH ONE ACTOR, PETER COOK, ALSO THE WRITER. WHAT DO YOU DO TO SUPPORT HIS WORK?

Every morning during rehearsals we spent an hour running lines, as it’s a one person show I am really glad I am able to support him in doing this massive task. I try to check in on him throughout the process, and generally just try to make sure everything is organised so that he can be in the best headspace to perform the work.

ANY FAVOURITE MOMENTS FROM THE REHEARSAL ROOM?

The moments between scenes, when Caroline and Peter are working the scenes finding the intention and clarity in every moment. There is so much precision and detail in every moment which I cannot wait for an audience to see.

WHAT KIND OF THEATRE DO YOU WANT TO MAKE?

Theatre is such a powerful tool, storytelling and connection truly have the potential to change lives. I am the co-creator of Left Lane Outreach Theatre, and with our work doing outreach in Libraries and through our pop-up performances and interactive instillations we are able to bridge the gap between the stage and real life. Bringing the tools and fun of theatre to people who wouldn’t usually access it, to empower their creativity.

WHAT’S INSPIRING YOU CREATIVELY AT THE MOMENT?

I am currently working on a roaming performance for Art Not Apart called Bin Chickens, large Ibis puppets made completely out of waste. Through this creative process I have been feeling really inspired by the work of activists and environmental warriors and I’ve been thinking a lot about how art and performance can be a part of this change. Our planet is so precious and it’s time to take action on climate change.

WHAT ARE YOU READING AND WATCHING CURRENTLY?

At the moment I’m reading a book I picked up in a second-hand bookshop in Wellington, NZ called ‘The Falling Woman’ by Susan Hawthorne.  It’s a gorgeous dreamlike novel, but I’m only a couple of chapters in so far!

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