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Interview with Ross Mueller

My first theatre experience was…  seeing a production of Camelot. I remember my grandfather took us. We sat in the balcony and I cut my leg on the seat. Blood dripping down onto a white sock—my introduction.

If I was a character in a play I’d be...  necessary to the progression of the plot.

I love theatre because…  it’s alive and it is risky and it’s a team effort.

I hate theatre when…  it’s too safe, too tired or too long.

My best moments working in the theatre were…  1) working in Brisbane at the National Festival in 2008 with Brett Adam, 2) doing a workshop with Martin Crimp at the Royal Court, and 3) being in an elevator at the VIC Arts Centre with John Wood, Billy Crystal and Kamahl.

The worst thing to happen to me in the theatre was…  cutting my leg on a seat.

I write plays because…  I have to and I love it. I have a desire to participate in a social dialogue, theatre is an immediate medium that demands this discussion and it is lively, sexy and fun.

The most important thing I’ve ever done was…  nothing to do with the theatre.

The best line that never made it into one of my plays is…  probably not worth repeating.

My latest play was inspired by…  street violence in Melbourne and fighting in Kings Cross.

If I was to start all over again as a playwright, I wouldn’t…  expect Baby Boomers to mentor Generation X. And I would ... do it all again willingly.

The role of theatre in 21st century Australia is…  to make clear demands in poetic voices.

When I hand over a script to a director I’m…  giving it to somebody I trust.

My last big laugh was about…  Ricky Gervais trying to pick up in Extras - Series Two.

My last big whinge was about…  the lack of a theatre in Melbourne dedicated to developing Australian writing—considering that the city is an international capital of literature.

The best production I’ve ever seen was…  nurtured over several years and had more than four weeks rehearsal.

My greatest theatre heroine/hero are…  Caryl Churchill and David Mamet.

My next big project is…  Concussion for STC / Griffin in March 2009.

And very personal: The three most important things to pack for a trip to New York are…  notebook, long johns and an empty suitcase for the play scripts that will be much, much cheaper to buy over there. (Note by the editor: Except Currency plays, which will be much, much more expensive to buy over there. Obviously.)

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