On the Couch with Ryan Stewart

Ryan-Stewart-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Ryan Stewart?
Ryan Stewart is a queer actor and producer, born and raised in Naarm/Melbourne. They are currently completing a Master of Arts and Cultural Management, and will be premiering both Bottom by Willy Hudson and Guerilla Sabbath by William Hinz as a part of Midsumma 2021.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I would be a librarian! I love being surrounded by books, and sharing my love of the written word with others.

Who inspires you and why?
The people who inspire me are the queer folks in my life who continuously surprise me with their creativity, generosity, and tenacity in the face of a world that still denies them love and basic dignity.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
It would probably be trying to help people understand the weight of their words, in whatever form – written, spoken, communicated; and the power of empathy and vulnerability. I’m still understanding these lessons myself, but as an artist, I think these are the ways we can work towards creating a safer and more understanding world for everyone.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Anywhere near a beach where I can hear the waves at night.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
There’s a lookout over the city at Yarra Bend Park that I like to sit at with friends. A walk through the NGV is also a lovely way to spend the afternoon, and for a night out, we’d head to Rainbow House on Smith St.

What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading Carmen Maria Machado’s In the Dream House, and also working through The Whole Picture by Alice Proctor; I would definitely recommend both.

What are you currently listening to?
At the moment, I’ve been bingeing the podcast Decoder Ring a lot – the Paper Doll Club episode really stood out! Music wise, I’ve just discovered Marcia Hines’ Marcia Shines, and all I can say is that Marcia Hines truly shines in Marcia Shines by Marcia Hines. It’s… very good!

Happiness is?
Watching people do their art.

What does the future hold for you?
I hope my future contains more queer theatre making and more opportunities to work with disenfranchised artists to amplify their voices and stories. I’m also growing an avocado tree at the moment so, hopefully free avocados (so I can afford a house, y’know).

Ryan will be performing in the premiere season of Bottom by Willy Hudson at The Butterfly Club: 19 – 24 April, and producing Guerilla Sabbath by William Hinz at the La Mama Courthouse: 27 April – 2 May as part of 2021 Midsumma Festival.

Image: Ryan Stewart (supplied)