Heres a great show for book lovers! If you enjoy a complex story, a twist ending and plenty of food for thought, then youll love the Pulitzer Prize nominated Other Desert Cities. Straight from Broadway, its a profoundly moving drama about the generational and political divides in one family with a terrible secret to hide. It was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and five Tony Awards including Best Play. And it was written by Jon Robin Baitz, the writer of TV hits Brothers & Sisters, The West Wing and Alias.
The New York Times even called it "the most richly enjoyable new play for grown-ups that New York has known in many a season.
Other Desert Cities stars some of Australia's most loved faces from the small screen and the stage, including a father-son duo! Read on to hear a bit about the actors, straight from their own mouths.
First up is Conrad Coleby, who has played many characters on big TV shows including Roman Harris on Home & Away, Dylan "Dutchy" Mulholland on Sea Patrol and Scott Zinenko on All Saints.
My name is Conrad Coleby and I am a professional pretender. Other people think my job is endless fun, swanky parties, buckets of money and fame, but the reality is it is a demanding marathon, requiring focus, determination, diligence, passion, critical thinking, sacrifice, a high degree of stubborn-ness to succeed, the ability to work in a team of unfamiliar, eccentric, individuals and accept their criticism and guidance. You need to have the ability and willingness to be nomadic in nature and accepting the fact that you will spend a good deal of time away from your loved ones to have transient work related friendships and a success that is mostly a gamble. It is as much to do with luck and right place right time, as it is to do with talent and hard work. Im perfect for it because Im in love with it enough to accept it for what it is, which is mostly a humbling roller coaster ride of emotional torture, and if I wasnt doing this I would probably devote 100 per cent of my time to being a photographer. The things you most need to do my line of work are a sensitivity towards humanity and emotion, a wide appreciation and knowledge of literature, a strong imagination, a knowingness of self and other walks of life, a passion for philosophy, a good ear, excellent communication skills, the ability to take direction be tolerant and think on your feet, a burning desire to tell stories, a thriftiness with your own personal finances and a talent for being especially observant of people and their behaviour. Though I find it can sometimes be a bit vacuous, life complicating, frustrating, unpredictable, underpaid and embarrassing. I still believe it to be one of the most thrillingly fun things you can do as a job. Right now Im playing the role of Trip Wyeth, the baby of the family, in Other Desert Cities and I love it because he is incredibly aware of himself and even more so of others. I am challenged by distraction and most inspired by criticism. I strongly dislike a near enough is good enough attitude and the biggest lesson Ive learned is that life is what happens to you while you were busy making other plans. The best piece of advice Ive received is to accept and the person who gave me that advice taught me how to fight. When I look back on my career, I will be most proud of choosing blind adventure over a guided tour. My opinion may change. Well see.
Conrad is joined on the Heath Ledger Theatre stage by his father, Robert Coleby! Robert has a long history on television and stage as well, most notably for his roles on The Adventures of Skippy, Chopper Squad, Patrol Boat, All Saints and many more.
My name is Robert Coleby and I am an actor. Other people think my job is probably glamorous, but the reality is it is actually hard work. Im perfect for it because I am easy going and if I wasnt doing this I would probably be a visual artist. The things you most need to do my line of work are to stay adaptable and fit for a variety of roles, though I find it can sometimes be a bit difficult to predict. Right now Im Lyman Wyeth in Other Desert Cities and I love it because it is complex. I am challenged by the need for dramatic impact emotionally and most inspired by the dialogue provided by the playwright. I strongly dislike needing to yell in theatres with bad acoustics and the biggest lesson Ive learned is being relaxed while being on high alert. The best piece of advice Ive received is to learn how to say no and the person who gave me that advice is a retired army general. When I look back on my career, I will be most proud of surviving long enough to pass the baton on to my son, Conrad.
Next up: Rebeca Davis, a luminary of the Perth theatre scene. Rebecca has appeared in many Black Swan shows, including The Importance of Being Earnest, Arcadia, Boundary Street, Madagascar and The Memory of Water.
My name is Rebecca Davis and I am an actor. Other people think my job is exciting and easy but the reality is it is exciting and lots of hard but rewarding work. Im perfect for it because I have grown up in the theatre industry from the day I was born! And if I wasnt doing this I would probably be doing my other job: Company Director of the entertainment booking agency, Big Sky Entertainment. The things you most need to do my line of work are confidence, determination, skill, creativity and a good memory though I find it can sometimes be a bit soul destroying when an audition doesnt come off! Right now Im playing the role of Brooke Wyeth in Other Desert Cities and I love it because she is flawed, determined, fragile and at the same time has a tower of strength about her. I am challenged in a positive way by great text, a good solid story and emotions that take you on a roller coaster throughout the play and most inspired by a fabulous audience and terrific cast members. I strongly dislike people who talk or speak on their mobiles through a performance and the biggest lesson Ive learned is determination and hard work does pay off! The best piece of advice Ive received is to remember the audience is there because they want to be there and it is a shared experience between performers and audience a journey you take together; and the person who gave me that advice was my parents. When I look back on my career, I will be most proud of continuing my dream even when the going got tough.
And our final interview with actor Vivienne Garrett, another Perth theatre star who has been in Black Swan productions like The Clean House and When The Rain Stops Falling.
My name is Vivienne Garrett and I am an actor. Other people think my job is glamorous or a hobby, but the reality is its a skill. Im perfect for it because I love storytelling and if I wasnt doing this I would probably be a writer or a poet. The things you most need to do my line of work are resilience and skill, though I find it can sometimes be a bit demoralising. Right now Im playing the role of Silda in Other Desert Cities and I love it because its a great text and a funny role. I am challenged by the American accent and most inspired by the politics of the play and the dramatic writing. I strongly dislike injustice in general and the biggest lesson Ive learned is be true to yourself whilst respecting others. The best piece of advice Ive received is love is all you need and the people who gave me that advice were The Beatles. When I look back on my career, I will be most proud of my role as a teacher of actors.
Other Desert Cities is on at the Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of WA from 20 July to 4 August 2013. Buy your tickets now through Ticketek!