Who is Jane Montgomery Griffiths?
Well certainly not a grissled warrior like Titus – I don’t think I’d survive military boot camp & I like my pj’s too much to make midnight raids on the Goth army. But actually I’m a slightly odd combination of Professor of Theatre at Monash, an actor, playwright & mum.
What would you do differently to what you do now?
Nothing – I’ve had a quirky, surprising life that’s turned out wonderfully and I’m very blessed. Perhaps I would have said to my younger self, don’t worry so much – oh, and that 1980s shaggy perms were never a good look.
Who inspires you and why?
My wife, my kids, my students, and the wonderful directors I’ve worked with, like Ben Pfeiffer, Adena Jacobs and Emma Valente, who push me to places I didn’t know I could reach.
What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Oh, where do we start? All I can do is try to make small and incremental changes by hopefully inspiring and challenging my students to question the status quo.
Favourite holiday destination and why?
Definitely Greece, but too many places there to mention. My happiest holiday was last year, taking my kids around Mycenae and telling them myths of the Trojan War.
When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Well, I’m a country chick now – I live on a property outside Castlemaine. So, I’d probably take them to the Wesley Hill Market or Castlemaine Craft Market on a Saturday, then a none too strenuous bush walk and off to a decent café for a leisurely late lunch.
What are you currently reading?
Editing a few PhD theses that I’m delighted to say some of my students are about to submit. It’s one of the privileges of my job as an academic.
What are you currently listening to?
Every time I do a play, I have a sound track in my head as I’m learning lines or thinking about the part. For Titus, it’s John Tavener’s Last Sleep of the Virgin. Rich, strange & haunting!
My family, my home, and then once in a while that extraordinary transcendental moment when you’re acting and you enter another spiritual place.
What does the future hold for you?
I’m happy in the present. I’ll leave the future to unfold and surprise me.
Jane stars as Titus Andronicus in Bell Shakespeare’s production of Titus Andronicus in the Playhouse – Sydney Opera House: 27 August – 27 September 2019. For more information, visit: www.bellshakespeare.com.au for details.
Image: Jane Montgomery Griffiths (supplied)