On the Couch with Sonya Suares

Sonya Suares oncWho is Sonya Suares?
I’m not sure. I’m still working it out. This is probably why I work in theatre.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I have a fantasy about leading a disciplined, balanced life with plenty of time to read and garden. My actual life feels like a less glamorous version of Run Lola Run.

Who inspires you and why?
Quiet types, mostly. People who face incredible hardship with grace, those who maintain hope and humour under the most dire of circumstances. That kind of strength is compelling.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Encourage compassion. If we recognise others as equally human, it’s harder to wilfully mistreat them or turn a blind eye to their suffering. I’d also quite like to hoover up the marine debris in our oceans.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I’m fond of Port Douglas. Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef was pretty special.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
I love a road trip. Daylesford, Yarra Valley, Great Ocean Road if there’s time. Otherwise, I tend to take people to the theatre – we make fantastic theatre here.

What are you currently reading?
My script! We’re in the middle of a highly condensed rehearsal period for Pacific Overtures, so it’s been the only thing on my bedside table for a while.

What are you currently listening to?
The sound track to Pacific Overtures, over and over! It’s such an incredible score to listen to, really glorious music but ridiculously technical for performers.

Happiness is?
My husband and my darling son. And our friends – I have the most wonderful friends.

What does the future hold for you?
I’d like to sit inside an igloo, see the aurora borealis and experience anti-gravity. I’d trade anti-gravity for being cast in a space western. I realise both are outliers. More immediately, I’m looking forward to touring Sondheim’s Assassins to Warragul, Sale and Geelong in October.

Since graduating from WAAPA in 2004, Sonya Suares has worked energetically in the arts in a variety of contexts. From 2009-12, she was General Manager of Red Stitch Actors Theatre and in 2013, commenced as Artistic Coordinator of the Monash Academy of Performing Arts.

Her theatre credits include The Importance of Being Earnest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Arcadia, Rappaccini’s Daughter, The Vagina Monologues, One for the Road, In the Family, The Pajama Game, Don Giovanni and Madame Butterfly.  In 2007, she toured with Complete Works Theatre Company and in 2012, revisited Much Ado About Nothing in wineries around Australia and New Zealand with Essential Theatre.

Last year, she performed Simon Stephen’s Pornography at the Malthouse and Sondheim’s Assassins at Fortyfivedownstairs, with her new company Watch This. Her screen work includes the feature films Wil, Knowing, My Year Without Sex and The Last Ride; the 2013 Tropfest winning short, We’ve All Been There; and TV credits on Ocean Girl, Wicked Science, Prank Patrol, Rush, Very Small Business, East West 101, Lowdown, It’s A Date and Legally Brown. Her favourite production to date remains her son, Daniel.

Sonya is currently preparing for Stephen Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures at Theatre Works from 19 February to 9 March 2014. For more information, visit: www.theatreworks.org.au for details.

Image: Sonya Suares