Note from the Writer & Director, Jayde Kirchert
Mara KORPER has been a long time in the making. The earliest seed was sewn when I was a student, about 11 years ago. It has grown as I have grown: its political complexity, depth of world building and relevance have all evolved as I have come into my own as an artist. The versions that best resemble Mara KORPER had a first public sharing as part of Small & Loud at the Arts Centre, then a public reading at La Mama at the end of 2019. Through the many readings and developments, never could I have imagined we would do the play in the round, with audiences in perspex boxes, in the midst of a pandemic. But it’s actually the best circumstances for the play to connect with the time and place we’re in and really helped crack open the show’s Brechtian-Shakespearean hybrid playing style.
Despite having an extensive gestation period, a play is no good living inside one’s head. It has only been through the generosity, intelligence and creativity of every collaborator in every iteration - but especially those involved in this production - that the richness and detail of the world of the Mother could become fully realised. The size of this work is immense and I believe an extraordinary feat for an independent theatre company. From the ambitiousness of the heightened text, to the technical challenges of working in the round, to the technological triumph that is the movement-activating MIDI rings worn by the actors to create some of the soundscape, it has been an immense, epic undertaking that we are all very proud of.
As a writer, I’ve said all I want to say in the play. As a director, I invite you to dive in: let the chorus whisk you away and enjoy the strangeness, the extremism, the humour and the exquisite work of the actors, crew and design team. It is a creepy, gory and fun sci-fi play, but it also has numerous layers and much to say about the world we live in. The story of how we are allowed live in our bodies has never been more pertinent, particularly as issues of gender, race and sexuality are now, more than ever, part of public discourse. Most importantly, Mara KORPER reminds us by its conclusion, to remember to listen to each other - to those who have come before, as much as those who we disagree with. Timely advice for us all, as we emerge from the grip of 2020.