On the Couch with Dylan Van Den Berg

AAR-Griffin-Theatre-Dylan-Van-Den-BergWho is Dylan Van Den Berg?
I am Palawa writer, dramaturg and actor with family connections to the northeast of Lutrawita/Tasmania. I live on Ngunnawal land with my family and our two sausage dogs, where I try desperately to keep our rose bushes alive.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I always wanted to be a lawyer because I thought it might be glamourous and dramatic. I think the legal profession dodged a bullet the day I put that dream behind me.

Who inspires you and why?
I’m inspired by the way the arts community has come together during this difficult time. I admire those who’ve found ways to keep making work and collaborating, but also those who’ve decided to take some time away for themselves.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Become the Prime Minister, combat climate change. Raise the age of criminal responsibility. Become the CEO of a mining corporation, dissolve operations (and stop blowing up ancient sites of cultural significance).

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I love heading off to Bali and spending time in Ubud. I find it such a relaxing place, and I spend my time walking, eating and reading. I’ve been thinking about it a lot recently!

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
There’s so much to do in Canberra! I often take friends to the National Portrait Gallery, which houses a stunning collection of photographs and paintings of incredible Australians. There’s something very peaceful and inspiring about Canberra’s galleries, and I’d recommend them to everyone!

What are you currently reading?
The Yield by Tara June Winch.

What are you currently listening to?
Recently I’ve been revisiting the Hamilton soundtrack, but I’m also listening to the Royal Court Theatre’s Playwright Podcast, hosted by Simon Stephens.

Happiness is?
Reading a book, warm and cozy, while a storm thunders away outside.

What does the future hold for you?
Nothing feels very certain at the moment, but I’m developing a couple of plays at The Street Theatre and Darlinghurst Theatre Company. I am also keen to improve on my gardening skills. Beyond that, who knows!

Dylan’s latest play, Milk will be presented as part of The Street Theatre’s First Seen: new works-in-progress program in an online showing on Friday 7 August at 5.00pm. FREE – bookings essential. For more information, visit: www.thestreet.org.au for details.

Image: Dylan Van Den Berg (supplied)