Interview with Aidan Rowlingson

Moogahlin Performing Arts together with Sydney Festival and Carriageworks will present the 5th biennial Yellamundie Festival in Jan 2021. The 2021 Festival (22-24 January 2021) will feature Capricorn, a play by Brisbane local Aidan Rowlingson. Aidan Rowlingson is an emerging multidisciplinary artist and producer who creates and produces LGBTQIA+ First Nation performances and creative developments. Through the lens of a doomed romantic relationship, Capricorn is a play exploring culture, sexuality, personal growth, and grief.          

We caught up with Aidan and had a chat with him about his work and what inspires him.

Can you tell us a bit more about what inspired you to write Capricorn?

The inspiration for Capricorn came to me in a very organic way. I decided I wanted to write something so I just did. I had no idea what I was writing until about 3,000 words in. Then I wrote a scene that hit me like a lightning bolt and I knew that that is what the play would be; two very confused people trying to work out what they want in life. After that things started to fall into place and I started drawing from my own experiences and events in my life that had affected my view of the world.    

You are an actor, and a writer – what do you prefer – performing or creating stories?

To me performing as an actor is creating stories and I wanted to do that with my writing. I wrote this play with the actors at the forefront of my mind. Capricorn deals a lot with what is not said. I want the actors to bring themselves to the characters and dive deep into the subtext. I partly feel bad for the actors because as an actor myself I love plays that require a lot of unpacking of thought and meaning. I love when a play makes me work for it and I feel as though Capricorn will give you as much as you are willing to take.   

First Nations people are underrepresented in the arts, and representation is important. Who do you look up to and admire?

I look up to the people around me. Mainly blak women.  Aunty Nadine Mcdonald-Dowd has had a long career in the arts; she’s taught me about self-care and how kindness is always the best tool to move forward. Alethea Beetson has been a long time collaborator of mine; she so staunch and strong while not only opening doors but kicking them down for our young mob, ill always have respect for her. Aunty Colleen Wall always lifts my spirits; as a cultural leader and fierce administrator, her endless support gives me the energy I need to keep making strong art for my people.   

What: Yellamundie Festival
When: 22 – 24 January 2020
Where: Carriageworks, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh NSW 2015
Tickets: $15 per show (inc. booking fee), at sydneyfestival.org.au/events/yellamundie-festival

* For those of us not able to travel to Sydney – Will be available via SYDFEST AT HOME and Moogahlin Youtube and Facebook in February and March – dates to be announced soon!

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