Aaron Richardon's new play Paper Planes is on at Basement this wiki! We talked to their superstar producer Alice Kirker all about the magical show:
What sparked the idea for Paper Planes?
Aaron (playwright) wrote this play as an ode to his younger self. He struggled with feelings of worthlessness and suicidal thoughts, and didn't really have an outlet. At the time of writing it, his girlfriend was also going through quite a hard time, and so this work was in part also inspired by her. The main character is a woman, and our cast is made up on four women.
How has the collaborative process been so far?
Wonderful! When dealing with themes around mental illness and depression, it is so important that everyone feels listened to, supported, and held. This makes the collaborative process particularly important. Physica Theatre Company (who is presenting this work), is working under Tikanga Maori for this production, and a massive part of that is a focus on the well-being of the people involved. The people and their experience are infinitely more valuable than the final product. He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata
How do you use humour to explore difficult topics?
Providing the work with a surreal world where humour is welcomed creates a safe space in which to talk about these more difficult subjects. The audience can use the comedic moments to break the tension, and the surrealism of the work means that we are in an alternate world, where nothing feels quite as real. This can help to dull the intensity of these conversations, making them more accessible to a wider audience.
Why are you drawn to puppetry in this show?
Puppets in adult shows are not something that are often seen in fringe theatre. Red Leap Theatre Company are one of the only big theatre companies in Aotearoa which champion the use of puppets in their storytelling. Puppetry requires immense skill and heaps of rehearsals, but we were eager to take on the challenge. Aaron (playwright) has a history in the exploration of puppetry, and wanted them to be present in his debut script.
What do you hope audiences will take away from Paper Planes?
We hope that this show sparks conversations among our younger audience members around mental illness and anxiety. We are working with Taurima Vibes as part of their Atawhai festival, so this work will be appealing to anyone and everyone of any age or gender who has had an experience with mental illness, or has an interest in understanding the struggles of mental illness better.
Paper Planes is on at Basement Theatre from 02 - 06 Oct. Book tickets or find out more here.