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PLAY READING: The Russian Doll 30 July 2023

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Event description

The Russian Doll written by David Cole

Russian Dolls (or Babushka dolls, or Matryoshka dolls) are those wooden dolls that come apart and which contain other smaller dolls inside them. As a child, Peter played with them.  Now he is facing the difficult task of placing his fiery mother Jan into care, the past is resurfacing. Add a dead (?) cat that refuses to be buried, a ‘Burning Man’ who sets fire to everything, and the many layers of Peter and Jan’s complex relationship start to unravel.

Join our visiting guests from the Goulburn Performing Arts Centre for a free play reading of this brand new work. 

Creative Team 

Writer David Cole
Dramaturg/Director Suze Smith

Peter Anthony Lewis
Jan Pauline Mullen
Young Peter Axel Wellings
Burning Man Martin Sanders
Aunty Helen Nicole Freeman
Special Doctor tbd

About the Play and the Reading 

David Cole says “the Russian Doll came out of discussions with Suze Smith at GPAC. Bring in three objects and write a play she told me, so I did. These objects were: a Russian Doll, a stuffed cat, and a Spider Man doll.” The development of The Russian Doll is part of the bespoke Culture Club programming at Goulburn Performing Arts Centre. Led by Suze Smith (GPAC’s Technical Coordinator and Community Engagement Specialist), Culture Club is an inclusive and diverse gathering space for people to share ideas, experience new forms of arts and culture, and to enjoy themselves.

Since GPAC opened in March 2022, Suze has been running an ongoing responsive series of capacity building workshops held at GPAC under the umbrella of the Culture Club program. These events aim to develop skills in theatre making, live performance, scenography, and creative practice for arts and cultural makers living in Goulburn and surrounds.

Biography David Cole

I am a writer from the Southern Tablelands. ​I previously worked as a journalist for Australian Community Media, writing mainly for The Goulburn Post. I have written six plays: The Ballad of Mary Ann Brownlow, Windfall, Life's a Bitch, Irene’s Wish, The Waltz, and The Russian Doll. All of the early plays were produced by the Lieder Theatre, Goulburn, and The Ballad of Mary Ann Brownlow enjoyed a small, funded tour of the ACT Region in 2008. Life’s a Bitch is listed with David Spicer Productions. The Canberra Street Theatre included Irene's Wish in its First Seen program in 2018.

In 2022, The Waltz, was performed in Goulburn, Crookwell, Braidwood, and Bowral. This short touring season was funded by Create NSW. It was performed at the Goulburn Performing Arts Centre (GPAC) on October 2, 2022, as part of GPAC’S Festival of Regional Theatre. The Waltz is continuing its dance and will be performed at The Q, Queanbeyan in June, 2023. Find out more about me and these plays at:

Biography Suze Smith

Alumni of the Victorian College of the Arts (PGD - Performance Creation & Directing, GradDip - Art and Community Engagement), Suze creates adventurous experiences, with and for community. She is a citizen of the world who loves to listen to, tell, and share stories. A community engagement specialist, Suze creates participatory arts experiences in theatre making, storytelling, and embodiment practices. 

She is a theatre maker, writer, and director of live performance in collaboration with a range of community participants and independent artists. Suze provides a sophisticated interpersonal space which brings forth the spirit of collaboration; creating platforms for people to connect to self, other, and place, in ways that are life giving and joyful. Suze is the Technical Coordinator and Programmer of Culture Club at Goulburn Performing Arts Centre.

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