Creative Futures: Bee Cruse
July 5, 2016
Bianca ‘Bee’ Cruse is the second participant in our Creative Futures program, a mentorship scheme established to create further opportunities for Western Sydney professionals, enabling each participant to advance their careers within their nominated field. Bee shared her experience working with NTofP as Assistant to the Director Vicki Van Hout during the production of Stolen.
I am the storyteller of my family, a role my great aunty Iris Clayton had passed down to me. Her story reflects that of the five characters of Stolen, like many of the Indigenous people from those generations, like many of my own family members. As part of the Creative Futures Program at the National Theatre of Parramatta I was asked to come on as the Assistant to the Director, Vicki Van Hout. Having studied this play in high school, I was very eager to see what Vicki would bring to the table as a disciplined NAISDA dancer/ teacher. She definitely exceeded my expectations on that one.
Making the cross over from Australian film into theatre was definitely not something I had planned for. To me, theatre had this prestigious aura about it, but as a storyteller Vicki expanded my mind on how to best use all the elements of theatre to portray Jane Harrison’s Stolen in a contemporary manner. With the play being almost 20 years old but still holding onto those universal themes of loss of culture, family, rejection, and the Stolen Generations, I believe this refreshing take on Stolen has the potential to heal all those that watch with an open heart.
I was involved in the 4 weeks of rehearsals, in which I got to observe Vicki’s way of directing, staging and character development. I watched in awe as the crazy world she had in her own head began to unfurl in front of my eyes. The way she thinks just totally blew my mind! She even gave me the opportunity to sit with some of the cast as they practiced their monologues and give constructive feedback on their movement, character motivations and voice.
During the show I helped Vicki film some of it for her personal archiving. We often sat watching the show, to see the best scenes, the best characters coming out, and the best transitions. I learnt so much from Vicki, she opened my mind to thinking outside the box. She taught me to play again, and play the day away.
Read Bee’s biography here