Paper Mountain - February 27, 2018

Stuck is a new Australian one-act play about three people yearning for, but fearing, fulfillment. It is the story of someone who wants to get on with their life but can’t, and two people who can get on with their lives but won’t.

Running at Paper Mountain from Thursday 1 March to Saturday 10 March 2018, the play is self-described by Company O as absurd, desperate, and familiar. To find out more, we ask writer-director of the play Andrew O’Connell some questions.

Could you tell us more about yourself, your experience and what inspires you?

I’m a teacher by day, but an actor (mainly theatre) and playwright by night. Intense, clear, purposeful stories inspire me–not ones that just suggest themes or moods. Although my passion is theatre, I’m inspired by a whole range of literature, and a whole range of performance, as well as art more broadly. I’m inspired by equally hard-working and passionate people whose goal is to get things right and make things the best they can be. I get particularly inspired when fellow artists bring their own ideas to the table.

What is Stuck about?

Two teachers, Tim and Anne, have been working together for a while. They’ve always had a flirtatious relationship, but nothing significant has happened between them. Violeta, a Colombian woman, has recently joined the staff. Tim wastes no time in pursuing her but he must keep his relationship with her secret from Anne. Violeta ultimately wants to immigrate to Australia and asks Tim to help out. Tim agrees but finds it increasingly difficult to deal with Violeta’s emotional instability. Perhaps she does have ‘a demon’, as she claims. Anne eventually finds out there’s something going on between Tim and Violeta and confronts him about it. Will Tim tell Anne the truth?

How did the show Stuck come to your mind? What inspired you to write this play?

A personal experience inspired me to write the play. I was fascinated by what I believed to be a clear example of self-sabotaging behaviour in a person I knew. I was amazed at what I perceived was the rejection and destruction of wonderful opportunities, including fulfilling relationships, due to, I believed at the time, a severe case of low self-esteem. This led me to wonder what wonderful opportunities I, myself, was rejecting or destroying at the time due to feelings of inadequacy or a lack of self worth.

We invite you to come along to watch and question yourself: where are you Stuck in your life?