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Interview with Jane Montgomery Griffiths

My first theatre experience was… playing Tootles in my primary school’s xmas play production of Peter Pan. I accidentally shot the games master with my bow and arrow.

If I was a character in a play I’d be… a tricky one to cast.

I hate theatre when… it shows contempt for its audience and despises the legacy that created it. We don’t have to be slavish to ‘canonical’ theatre – we should play around with it and see how elastic it can be – but we shouldn’t dismiss it, or assume our modern view of drama is necessarily better or more radical. The fault might just lie in ourselves if we don’t understand the worth of classic texts.

Playwrights who inspire me… are those who let language sing, and who understand that actors and audiences are human beings

The best line that never made it into one of my plays is... “Whose idea was it to submerge me naked in a coffin full of honey?”

I find my role as an academic and actor, complement each other because… both theatre and academia are, or should be, about communication, about trying to reach out to an audience and find the energy and joy of making new connections

Sappho to me is… desire, despair, and the bliss of what is not said when you look at the beloved.

If I had to choose one enduring reputation to last through the centuries I would want it to be… that I tried to make Classics accessible, fun and sexy.

The role of theatre in 21st century Australia is… to explore the future by interrogating the present and acknowledging the past.

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