On the Couch with Louise Fischer

Louise Fischer_BaliWho is Louise Fischer?   
Can I answer that when I’m eighty?  Seriously I’m currently Artistic Director at New Theatre, a place of I think of as a second home and when you’re bumping out a show and the clock strikes 5am you do start to feel like you’re living there.  But I think I’m more defined by the people in my life.  I’m blessed to have some of the most compassionate, funny, loyal and beautiful bunch of family and friends in my life and I hope some of their qualities have rubbed off on me.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Take more risks.  The perfect, perfect world would be 6 months working in theatre and six months exploring the world, buying a ticket to a dot on the map and seeing where that takes me.

Who inspires you and why? 
People who are braver than me.  People that put their lives on the line in refugee camps in Syria or Guinea.  People who don’t just write about what is wrong in the world because they are too busy trying to make things better.  People who survive in conditions that are so dire and yet still maintain their dignity and humanity.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Keep voting, keep protesting, keep challenging and kicking and screaming against small minded arseholes who put dollars signs above everything.   Humanity is not for sale!

Favourite holiday destination and why? 
Where I haven’t been yet.  I have been so very fortunate to have been able to visit so many places in my life but every journey you take only reminds you of the places you haven’t been to yet.  That said the one trip that stays with the most is my visit to my foster child in Guinee, West Africa.

It’s not what you would call a holiday destination but it did affect me profoundly.  I travelled for a week overland to get to her village (Gueckedou) and most of the time was the only white person in the places I visited.  The amazing work undertaken by local volunteers and their passion and commitment to making their world better made my chardonnay socialist rantings pale in comparision.

At that time Guinee took the most number of refugees both per capita and in actual numbers and as I approached Gueckedou the row upon row of HCR blue tents was staggering and to this day it gets my blood boiling about our successive government’s lack of humanity when dealing with refugees. (The sound you just heard was me falling of the soap box)!

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why? 
My backyard and I throw a glass of wine their way and make some pasta and catch up.

What are you currently reading?
Mostly plays as even though we’ve only just put the 2014 season to bed it’s time to look at 2015.  I have so little time to read prose (which I sorry miss) but when I can I desperately try and catch up writers like Tim Winton, Tan Twan Eng and Avarind Adiga and also the guilty pleasure of the Stieg Larrson’s Millenium trilogy and the outrageously ridiculous Janet Evanovich.

What are you currently listening to?
The soundtrack I’m putting together for A Midsummer Night’s Dream which includes a mixture of Balinese Gamelan and Barong, Tomoyasu Hotei and a but if Buddha Bar – let’s just say it’s more than a little eclectic.

Happiness is? 
A Sunday lunch outdoors around a long table or at a picnic on the beach.  We are all a part of community and it’s important to celebrate that as much as possible.

What does the future hold for you? 
Hopefully being able to continue to direct theatre, visit new places and catch up with old friends whilst making a few new ones.

Louise Fischer is the Artistic Director of New Theatre and holds an MA in Theatre Studies from the University of NSW. Her directing credits for New Theatre include Enron, The Farnsworth Invention, Vernon God Little and The Crucible (which transferred to a sell out season at the Seymour Centre), Honeymoon Suite, Richard III, Dancing at Lughnasa, Lemon Delicious and The Caucasian Chalk Circle.

Other productions include The God Botherers (Darlinghurst Theatre), Hamlet (Harlos Productions), Macbeth.com (Lighthouse Theatre), Project SciFi (PACT), Birthdays, Christmas & Other Family Disasters (Tunks Productions), Bedtime for Bastards (Crypt Theatre), Roadkill (Short & Sweet) and The Curious Pain of Louis XIV (Seymour Centre).

The 2014 New Theatre Season will be revealed soon. For more information, visit: www.newtheatre.org.au for details.

Image: Louise Fischer