South Australia will have its very own Walk of Fame as part of Adelaide Festival Centre’s redevelopment project and Greek Australian actor, director, and playwright Elena Carapetis has been nominated to have a star cemented with her name.
“Honestly, I had no idea and I am only just finding this out as we speak, but I am definitely pleasantly surprised and excited about the recognition and nomination,” said Carapetis in an interview with Neos Kosmos.
“There are so many wonderful artists in South Australia. I feel very privileged to be among those named who contribute to the cultural life of our city. It is a joy every time I come to work at the Adelaide Festival Centre,” she said.
The star-studded walkway will initially include more than 130 names of some of the artists that have performed at the Adelaide Festival Centre in its 44-year history.
Carapetis has also received an AWGIE nomination from The Australian Writers’ Guild (the peak industry body representing writers for stage, screen and radio) for her play Gorgon.
Constantly immersed in theatre and creative writing, the award-winning actor and playwright made her writing debut with her first play The Good Son at Adelaide’s Bakehouse Theatre in 2015.
It took Carapetis six years to complete the play which was inspired by true events and explored the close bond that main character Frank shared with his migrant divorcee mother, Medea. It is a bond which gradually becomes claustrophobically blurred.
“I wrote the play about a very specific world I know, but I didn’t see it as a Greek play as such. This was my version of an Australian tragedy. It’s the result of being told Greek myths and learning about Ray Lawler at school. It collides everyday people with Medea, if she lived in Australia in the early 21st century,” said Carapetis.
The Good Son was supported by Arts SA through the Independent Makers and Presenters Program and featured some of Australia’s leading actors. The play received excellent critical reviews.
“What gave me particular pleasure, is that I was able to showcase my first play in my hometown, a city that always embraces arts and theatre and encourages new talent,” she says.
She has been appointed resident artist of the State Theatre Company’s (STC) Ensemble, together with six actors, a resident designer and a resident director all are committing to extended working periods together working on productions presented back-to-back in both 2017 and 2018. The season features Carapetis in new Australian work Vale, a dark-as-pitch comedy with a sting in its tail described as ‘a collision between the wit of Edward Albee and a modern Greek tragedy.’
Carapetis has crafted a purpose-commissioned piece Sista Girl which offers a powerful look at family, grief, and the relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians, via the story of two women who share a father, as part of the 2018 season.
She has also recently adapted Ibsen’s classic A Doll’s House which will be performed on stage for the first time in the STC’s history. “Ibsen’s greatest play has bewitched and divided audiences for more than 100 years bringing energy, schism, and heartbreak to the issue of gender inequality. The STC’s production of this gripping piece will be brought to life in a new adaptation by Elena Carapetis and will be the inaugural project of the State Theatre Company Ensemble,” explains Lindsay Ferris, Media and Communications Manager at the company.
“I love this city and I am grateful for all the work and the talented people I have had the opportunity to work with while being close to my family and friends and getting recognised for the quality work we all produce,” Carapetis says.
It now remains to be seen whether the talented artist will get to have her own name cemented into this star-studded promenade.
The Walk of Fame is an initiative of the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust.
A selection of names of artists who have performed at the centre, each year from 1973, will be displayed in a newly created promenade.
The Trust is currently accepting votes for a representative of performers from 2016.
The public is invited to select a contender from a list of artists – international and local – who have performed at the Adelaide Festival Centre in 2016. Elena Carapetis is one of those artists.
To view the full list of artists and to vote, go to adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au/about-us/walk-of-fame
Voting will remain open until midnight Sunday 9 July.