Meet the Director/Adapter : Priscilla Jackman
October 17, 2023
When Joanne Kee first approached me about the adaptation of Felicity Castagna’s wonderful novel, Girls in Boys’ Cars – several things really hooked me. I loved the feeling of connecting with a work that I directly identified with. Here was a stunning depiction of the Parramatta I know so well and where my family live; yet a Parramatta I have never actually experienced or seen on stage.
And here was a complicated friendship between two young women that resonated very deeply with me on a personal level. There was a stage of my life, very close to my heart, where I had an ‘Asheeka’ of my own. Her name was Catherine.
I was captivated by Castagna’s unflinching depiction of the complexities of the friendship between Rosa and Asheeka – a friendship which is simultaneously toxic yet ferociously loyal, naïve yet fiercely courageous, co-dependent yet deeply liberating.
Most of all, I was intrigued by the creative challenge of how, within the compact production parameters, we could theatrically and innovatively depict a road trip on stage.
I am so excited by and grateful to the outstanding creative team and dexterous cast that were also attracted to this exhilarating theatrical challenge. The innovation of the storytelling and design, the collaborative creative solution-seeking and the sheer out-of-the-box skill of the team has been utterly expansive and enriching.
It is our hope that the fluidity and proficiency of this stage version of Girls in Boys’ Cars, will actively transition audiences through space and time on Rosa and Asheeka’s journey as they travel across NSW and ultimately find new versions of ‘self’. We hope the non-linear structure, interplay of eclectic performance styles and deep cohesion of projection, sound, physicality, space and text will contribute to creating a pulsating and contemporary new Australian work.
GIRLS IN BOYS’ CARS
19 Oct – 3 Nov
Priscilla is a director of theatre and opera. Her recent work has included RBG: Of Many One by Suzie Miller (Sydney Theatre Company) which won Best Actor at Sydney Theatre Awards (2023), White Pearl by Anchuli Felicia King (NTofP + STC) which won Best Ensemble, Sydney Theatre Awards (2020) and Still Point Turning: The Catherine McGregor Story, which she wrote and directed (2018, STC). For Opera Australia she directed The Barber of Seville which is currently touring nationally, associated directed Bluebeard’s Castle (2020) and assistant directed Ernani (2020 La Scala + OA). Priscilla directed the premier of Appleton Ladies Potato Race by Melanie Tait for Ensemble Theatre (2018) and will direct a new version this year at Queensland Theatre. She was the inaugural winner of the Sandra Bates Director’s Award (2016, Ensemble Theatre) and recipient of the Berlin Opera Award for Opera Foundation for young Australians (2017). She is a graduate of the NIDA directing course.