On the Couch with Alirio Zavarce

Alirio Zavarce oncWho is Alirio Zavarce?
I am a Human, Husband, Father, Actor, Director & Theatre Maker, Artistic Director of AJZ Productions and True North youth Theatre Ensemble. I was born in Caracas, Venezuela and Migrated to Australia in 1992.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
That is a difficult question. I believe we are always learning and expanding, experimenting and finding new approaches but we also learn from our mistakes. So in hindsight everyone is an expert but you need the bumps in the road to take you there.

Who inspires you and why?
There are many people that inspire me Garcia Lorca, Augusto Boal, Paulo Cuelho, Andrew Bovell, Gandhi, Louise Hays, Banksy there is many people in my life that inspire me. There are people that nobody knows off but that have come against huge odds and manage to change the outcomes. My Mum: Alicia has always been a great inspiration to me, she was a battler and fought against many things to create her of life and give me the opportunities that I had.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I would try to create understanding and help us remember that we are all human beings and we have the same rights and needs. I do that with the theatre that I create such as The Book of Loco or Sons and Mothers.   I always try to bring equality and help participants find their voice whether its being in a Detention Centre, in a Prison or working with young people in True North Youth Theatre Ensemble.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I love travelling and finding new places. I love Whalers Way near Port Lincoln in South Australia it is just untouched and an ever expanding coastline.   I fell in love with Florence and found an amazing Martini Bar and even got engaged with my wife there on the Ponte Vecchio Bridge. The National Park of Morrocoy in Venezuela I have stayed 3 weeks alone on a tiny island and it simply is paradise.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
In Melbourne I love the laneways as you can find an amazing array of food, architecture and street art. Great food, a fun pub and hidden secrets. In Adelaide I would take them to Leigh Street, Handorf and the Central Markets.

What are you currently reading?
Chuck Palahnuik’s Fight Club and Anne Bogart’s A Director Prepares.

What are you currently listening to?
God Speed You! Black Emperor – DJ Schomolli.

Happiness is?
Cuddling and chilllaxing with my wife and family.

What does the future hold for you?
In the immediate future a season of The Book of Loco at The Malthouse, then a National Regional tour of Sons & Mothers and next year a season of Pinocchio at the New Victory Theatre in New York. We are enjoying further expansion of our Youth Theatre Ensemble True North and personally taking a short break with my family.

Alirio Zavarce is the Artistic Director of True North Youth Theatre Ensemble. In 2000, he graduated from the Flinders University Drama Centre, and over the last 14 years, has numerous performance credits with many theatre companies across Australia including Windmill, State Theatre of SA, Sydney Theatre Company and Malthouse.

Alirio is a founding member of The Border Project and has performed and co-created in all of its productions. He has developed and directed projects for: Nexus Multicultural Arts Centre, SYTE, Urban Myth, The Multicultural Community Council of SA, Flinders University Drama Centre, and the Community Arts Network.

For No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability, Alirio has directed, written and performed: Trapped – Winner of the 2011 Fringe Graham Smith Peace Trust Award and Sons & Mothers – winner of the 2012 Fringe Best Theatre Production, Adelaide Festival Centre inSPACE development Award and The Adelaide Critics Circle Best in Fringe Award.

In 2013 Alirio wrote and performed The Book of Loco – winner of the 2013 Fringe Best Theatre Production, Adelaide Festival Centre inSPACE development Award. He also wrote and directed The Migration Project which was presented as part of the 2013 Come Out Festival.

Alirio will be performing in The Book of Loco at The Malthouse Theatre: 17 July – 2 August. For more information, visit: www.malthousetheatre.com.au for details.

Image: Alirio Zavarce