Ahead of the NEON Reading of her upcoming performance installation Yes Way, We Made Australia Home, Rani Pramesti shares her thoughts on cultural diversity in Australian theatre.
What sector of the arts industry interests you most?
The independent sector where artists of diverse cultural backgrounds are creating astounding, heart and gut wrenching, joyful work!
When did you become involved in the arts?
The imPACT scholarship program at PACT Centre for Emerging Artists in Sydney was the first arts organisation to rope me in, make me fall stupidly in love with something I was deathly-afraid of for a long time: performing!
I used to be a social worker who couldn’t reconcile myself to becoming an artist as I wasn’t sure how I would be useful to society. Now I realise that art is one of the most powerful and accessible tools to changing and serving society.
What inspires you as a theatre artist?
The question: What does the world need more or less of?
If you could change one thing about Australian theatre, what would it be?
I would have exponentially more people of diverse cultural backgrounds on our stages, in our foyers, in our governance structures.
What is one of your favourite past theatrical experiences?
Goyang Penasaran by Naomi Srikandi, Teater Garasi, Indonesia for the incredibly powerful feminist messages speaking out against religious fundamentalism.
What interests you most about the MTC CONNECT program?
Its untapped potential to begin widespread change within MTC as an organisation.
What are some of the things you would like the MTC CONNECT program to work towards?
To secure a pool of funding for a Theatre Diversity Associate position at MTC, which will spearhead culturally diverse audience development with specific communities in Melbourne, have input into programming Culturally and Linguistically Diverse works on MTC stages and create professional pathways for culturally diverse theatre professionals to fill governance positions. DREAM BIG!
A reading of Yes Way, We Made Australia Home will be held at Southbank Theatre, The Lawler on Monday 1 June as part of NEON Festival of Independent Theatre.