On the Couch with Kate Sulan

Kate-Sulan-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Kate Sulan?
I am performance maker, a facilitator, and a mother of two daughters. I am the founding artistic director of Rawcus and have led the theatre company for 22 years. Rawcus is an award-winning ensemble of 14 performers with diverse minds, bodies and imaginations.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I often fantasize about being a back-up singer.

Who inspires you and why?
The Rawcus ensemble. I’m inspired by the way they make space for each other to be individuals within their collective. They are bold and unapologetically themselves.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
It would be amazing if we could live and make decisions based on the understanding that we are all interconnected. If we had the capacity to really listen to each other and to have conversations with complexity, nuance and care. I dream of a world where we meet each other’s differences with generosity and curiosity. I’d love access and inclusion, to be built into spaces, systems and process, and that these spaces, systems and processes take into account the many diverse ways of being and thinking that exist in the world. I’d love us to take care of each other and the planet. To laugh and dance and connect more. Also, Universal Basic Income for Artists! I try to be guided by this vision for the world. I hope it makes a difference.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Middleton in South Australia, because it holds decades of intergenerational memories of time with my family. And it’s a beautiful, expansive, wild beach.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I live very close to the Merri Creek. It absolutely saved me during lockdown, and any visit would include a walk or picnic along the beautiful creek.

What are you currently reading?
I’m reading two books- both have The Art Of… in the title. The Art Of Gathering by Priya Parker. It’s a beautiful book about what is possible when people gather and connect. I am also reading The Art of Stillness by Pico Iyer. It’s a small book filled with expansive ideas. It’s about slowing down, paying attention and the urgent need for stillness as a way to fall back in love with the world and enact real change. Both of these books have influenced the show Rawcus is currently making, Here We Are Amongst You.

What are you currently listening to?
I’m listening to alot of Jethro Woodward’s music, because he’s composing the soundtrack for our show.

Happiness is?
Dancing with abandon, making my kids laugh, watching the sunrise, a swim in the ocean, long walks with my partner, hot baths, excellent conversations with friends, dark chocolate.

What does the future hold for you?
I’m not exactly sure, and that’s both thrilling and terrifying. After the privilege and joy of leading the company for 22 years it’s time to hand over the baton. I am hoping for spaciousness for new ways of working and thinking to arise. I want to work in a way that holds space for deep connection between people and that opens up generous conversations and exchanges.

Kate is the Director of Here We Are Amongst You, her final show with Rawcus, which will be presented in a world premiere season at Arts House – North Melbourne Town Hall from 29 June 2022. For more information, visit: www.artshouse.com.au or www.rawcus.org.au for details.

Image: Kate Sulan (supplied)