The Caucasian Chalk Circle is quickly approaching, so we chatted with actor Kylie Farmer [Kaarljilba Kaardn] about what she is looking forward to, her experience and all those masks....
Kylie, your debut at Black Swan was in the smash hit The Sapphires in 2010, and you also worked with Black Swan on another hit, The White Divers of Broome in 2012. What have you been up to since we last saw you?
Kylie: I've been working on inspired translations of Shakespearean sonnets into Nyungar language with Yirra Yaakin (which we performed at the Globe Theatre in London). I landed roles in television programs such as Redfern Now and The Gods of Wheat Street. I also worked as a script and acting coach on a production called Beautiful One Day presented by Ilbijerri and Belvoir, and in between all of those those creative endeavours, I've been involved in major project work at both Screen Australia and the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. I've also been working on various community devised theatre pieces with local talent.
The Caucasian Chalk Circle is a big production – a big cast, a huge creative endeavour, and an international collaboration. What is it that drew you to this production? What are you most looking forward to?
I'm super excited to be working with all cast and crew involved in this production - there's so much talent from WA! Initially, the original show concept embracing Chinese culture with Nyungar song was what drew me to the project as I have both Nyungar and Chinese ancestry. The artistic vision has since changed but I'm still thrilled to be on board. I'm looking forward to rehearsing this classic work with the wonderful cast - many of whom I've worked with before - and being back on stage for Black Swan in the Heath Ledger Theatre.
You recently had a mould taken of your face for a mask for this production. Obviously as an actor your facial movements and expressions can be a huge part of bringing your character to life, and a mask will hinder that in some ways. Is this a new challenge for you? Are you expecting to change or increase other facets of your performance to compensate?
I love a challenge! Certainly looking forward to exploring all areas of expression through the body and voice to compliment the beautiful masks we'll be wearing. At the moment, I'm just hoping it fits my face comfortably!
Have you met Director Dr Wang before? How do you think the language barrier will effect rehearsals?
I am yet to meet Dr Wang. I've been hearing tales of him being quite fierce in the rehearsal room though, so I'm definitely aiming to bring my A-game. I don't find it hard crossing language barriers. I've loved learning and hearing other languages from such a young age and I've always found other ways to communicate without speaking the language. Perhaps I should bring my Chinese grandfather into rehearsals with me so he can be my personal translator!