On the Couch with Scott McArdle

AAR-Scott-McArdle-photo-by-Daniel-J-GrantWho is Scott McArdle?
Scott McArdle is a theatre and filmmaker living, working, and playing on Whadjuk Noongar Boodja. I’m just about to make it out of the 27 club and have spent the last 10 years working in every aspect of live performance you can think of. I work in box offices all over town (mainly The Blue Room Theatre) and have been writing and directing my own work since I was in high school. I’m also a Dungeons & Dragons enthusiast (see: HUGE nerd) in my spare time and I run a D&D-themed improv comedy show too.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I’d love to be a video game designer or board game designer. I have a minor in game design and have a passion for inclusive, exciting, and inventive games as tools to bring people together.

Who inspires you and why?
Right now, my biggest inspiration is Grace Tame. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more connected or represented by an Australian of the Year than I do with her. She’s a real force of nature and is breaking down barriers. What a legend!

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Oh god, that’s the million dollar question hey? Like I hope that what I do does make a difference. It’s a little idealistic (and maybe naïve) but you don’t make a difference unless you intend to. Everything I write and put out into the world aims to heal and grow those who watch it. I usually tackle big traumatic events or ugly underbellies of society but it’s all in the effort to promote hope, healing, and love. It sounds a little corny but the FBI’s expert on serial killers, John E. Douglas, believed that more love in the world makes all the difference.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I love the south-west of this beautiful land I’m lucky enough to live on. I’ve got many treasured memories with my family and friends. I try to return to the sea and salt down there a few times a year, particularly to break up the busy periods and recharge.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Our giant green cactus demands worship – so that’s one. If there’s a show on at The Blue Room Theatre, I’d definitely take them to that (particularly with their new bar renovation). Boola Bardip – the new WA Museum – is an extraordinary and respectful journey through Whadjuk Nyoongar Boodja that shouldn’t be missed too.

What are you currently reading?
I just broke open the first chapter of Ta-Nehisi Coates The Water Dancer, which I am very excited for. I also just re-visited Lucy Kirkwood’s very moving play The Welkin, and a local hit from 2019, See You Next Tuesday by Sam Nerida.

What are you currently listening to?
A few albums: Nika Mo’s Of Cloven Hoof in Honey, #1 Dad’s Golden Repair, and some Carla Geneve. I also pretty much always have The National’s discography on rotation too.

Happiness is?
My beautiful 5-year-old greyhound. We rescued him about a year ago and to see the instantaneous effect love can have on a creature that’s never had any is really humbling. It makes me want to express love to everyone in my life with all my actions.

What does the future hold for you?
In two weeks, my semi-autobiographical work Playthings goes up at the State Theatre Centre of WA for Black Swan State Theatre Company and The Blue Room Theatre. A couple of months after that, my debut short film Work From Home will screen and hit the festival circuit. As someone who had meticulously planned my career path for the past 10 years, I’m going into the future after that without any plans and trying to remain open to wherever the creative breezes blow me… am I allowed to end on the phrase blow me?

Scott is the Writer and Director of Playthings – which will be presented by Black Swan State Theatre Company in association with The Blue Room Theatre at Studio Underground – State Theatre Cantre of WA from 29 April – 8 May 2021. For more information, visit: www.bsstc.com.au for details.

Image: Scott McArdle – photo by Daniel J Grant