Alcestis, World Premiere Reading by Playwright Kat Moritz

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Date: May 24th, 2019
Time: 7.00 – 9:00pm
Cost: $25 per head inc. light refreshments, Oakdene wines, cheese & fruit board.
Tickets: 30 available

Join us for an evening of history, performance and storytelling, and delve into the world of the ancient Greeks, with this world premiere reading of playwright Kat Moritz’s radical adaptation of Euripides’ Alcestis. Read by two of Australia’s finest actors, Lachlan Woods (The Twelfth Night, Melbourne Theatre Company; Winners and Losers, Seven Network; Neighbours, Network Ten) and Laura Burzacott (Ginger and Tonic; Margaret Fulton: Queen of the Dessert, Theatreworks), this event will be poignant, provocative and powerful.

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The heart of any civilisation, culture or country lies in its stories. Whether they’re stories passed down orally, told through images, written down or informed by folklores and mythologies – stories are the means by which people come together and collective identities and histories are forged.

In collaboration with Queenscliff Gallery & Workshop, and speaking to this year’s annual print exchange theme of “historia”, Greek Australian playwright Kat Moritz will be presenting a reading of her latest play, Alcestis – an adaptation of Euripides’ play – as part of this year’s Queenscliff Literary Festival. Alcestis is the culmination of Kat’s recent trip to New York where she worked intensively with international playwright Sibyl Kempson and the Whitney Museum of American Art exploring ideas around ritual, history and the intersection of visual art, performance and the written word.

Esteemed actors Lachlan Woods (The Twelfth Night, Melbourne Theatre Company; Winners and Losers, Seven Network; Neighbours, Network Ten) and Laura Burzacott (Ginger and Tonic; Margaret Fulton: Queen of the Dessert, Theatreworks), under the direction of renowned theatre maker and regional arts advocate Bryce Ives, in this world premiere, will present a reading of Kat’s work that emphasises the relevance of the epic to our lives today.

Kat’s Alcestis is radical. It is an adaptation of a classic unlike any other that you have seen, in which Kat excavates one very particular moment of the epic right before Alcestis sacrifices herself for her husband. It’s the only moment where husband and wife are in dialogue and Kat balloons this moment out into a deeply nuanced, unique and powerful play that digs into the highly gendered, dysfunctional and inescapably contemporary charge of the relationship at the original text’s core. Kat’s version emphasises that the heart of these historically rich, largely neglected and seemingly irrelevant epic myths and tales, lies in the everyday and, that the everyday is palpably epic.

“It’s such a privilege to be premiering this work at this year’s Queenscliff Literary Festival, especially in collaboration with the Queenscliff Gallery and Workshop,” says playwright Kat Moritz. “We often think of writing and the visual arts as mutually exclusive and forget that, really, they’re all just tools with which we can tell our stories. This is especially the case in small communities where, historically, storytelling has been fundamental.”