St Martins, a leading theatre company in Australia creating and producing theatre by young people for adult audiences, has embraced a fresh artistic medium with a new and intimate performance designed specifically for Zoom, Us.
Performed live online each night, Us shows home-life as it is. The work captures micro interactions between parents and their children – the beautiful, frustrating, messy, ridiculous, loving moments that usually go unseen, kept secret in the private realm and left out of grand narratives.
Us is an invitation into the living room of a family that’s not yours and a wild meandering tale of how you are connected to them, and has been made with Zoom in mind, with the camera of computers and phones creating an intimate, front row seat into another family’s life.
The performers know they are being watched and at times speak directly to the audience. Together, the performers retrace the exact moments, big and small, that led them to being this person, in this performance, in this community gathering in cyberspace.
The performance includes a clumsy cave person, a revolution, two-brothers crossing the ocean on a boat, a cat defecating in a bathroom sink and a love of the singer Prince leading to personal growth.
“Watching parent and child perform alongside each other is a rare gift that brings forth all sorts dynamics: care, kindness, silliness and that oh-too-familiar family banter,” said Director and St Martins Artistic Associate Katrina Cornwell. “Each family has a herculean story to tell that is both completely magical and utterly everyday.”
Experienced singer, songwriter, and performer Sam Gaskin joins the cast with his nine-year-old daughter, Raelah. Of the experience Sam says, “Performing with my daughter may just be the greatest honour I’ve ever had. To watch her do what she loves and come into her power, makes my heart sing.”
For nine year-old Raelah, performing with her father makes her feel strong. “It makes me feel comfortable and like I can do anything. I feel happy to do it with Daddy cause when I get nervous I’ve got Daddy cheering me on.”
“I’m immensely proud that St Martins is presenting this beautiful contemplation of our humanness through the conduit of technology,” said St Martins Artistic Director Nadja Kostich. “Us is truly an expression of our times in its form and its content.”
Director: Katrina Cornwell | Featuring: Julia Chilcott, Ashanti Joy, Paula Reid, Jackson Reid, Samuel Gaskin, Raelah Piata Lascelles, Jessy Soliman, Noray Hosny | Set and Costume: Emily Collett | Sound Design and Technical Director: Justin Gardam | Stage Manager: Jacinta Anderson | Writer: Morgan Rose
An online performance inviting you into the magical moments found within home, Us will be performed online each night from 30 July – 7 August 2021. For more information, visit: www.stmartinsyouth.com.au for details.
Image: Us – photo by Pia Johnson