PMD Productions presents Picasso at the Lapin Agile, a comic tale written by renowned Hollywood actor, Steve Martin. In between performances, Anna Lozynski interviewed the play’s director, Kara Stacey Merrin.



Kara Stacey MerrinWhat can audiences expect to take away from this piece?
This play paints a very real picture for any person with great aspirations in life. It is about being on the verge of something big in our lives, yet not being able to quite pin down what that something is. We think of Picasso and Einstein as extraordinary men who shaped the twentieth century. We forget they were regular men, who had extraordinary ideas.

And of course, the audience will leave singing "Tah rah rah BOOM dee ay, Tah rah rah BOOM dee ay"

Which scene in the play did you find most difficult to direct. Why?
The first 10 minutes, as it sets the tone for the rest of the play. All I had was Steve Martin's interviews on the web, and some knowledge from having grown up with his movies. I would have loved to have seen him at opening night to ask him what he thought of the production.

What was your reaction to the script after your initial reading of it?
I laughed out loud the entire first read (and every read after that). I could see each of the characters off the page and couldn't wait to find a creative group with which to work.

How did you and the cast go about learning about the historical characters, which are the subject of the piece?
Fortunately we have a couple of walking encyclopaedias in our group, which is always helpful! But we all researched the characters to find a common ground to start from. Once the characters were embodied by the actors, the characters inevitably became something new. We worked with physical theatre during rehearsals to build the characters from the feet up (quite literally).

What did you do after opening night?
I caught up on lost sleep from the past three months.

Once the season finishes, what will you miss about this play?
Someone once told me, a production is a reflection of where you are at in your career. It is what it is and then you move on to the next project. I have really enjoyed working on Picasso at the Lapin Agile, and currently have new plays ticking away in my head. So there's no time to miss the play, it's onto the next big adventure!

Finally, what made you pursue a career in theatre direction?
When I was a little girl, I used to line up my dolls on the sceptic tank in our backyard and perform to them. I guess this was the start of my wanting to create worlds on stage that my friends, family and I would enjoy watching.


Picasso at the Lapin Agile plays at Chapel Off Chapel until November 7, 2009. Further details»

Most read reviews

TakeOver | Bangalow Theatre Company

The audience for any one night is divided into five groups of twelve people, each of which walks between the venues, so that there is only a Covid-safe number of people in any venue at any one time.

Gaslight | State Theatre Company South Australia

Gaslight is an entertaining, non-convoluted, engaging and superbly written piece, so that it stands up well after 80 years, especially when its traditional strength is imaginatively blended with some non- traditional contemporary casting.

QPAC Unlocked: An Evening with Amy Lehpamer

The night progressed, Amy showcasing her many talents, singing and playing the violin, and then indulging us, inviting her partner to perform alongside for a few songs on the acoustic guitar.

Most read news

Victoria’s Dance Studios Under Siege

Ausdance Victoria reveals an alarming 92% of studio owners are worried their business won’t survive to March 2021. 

Sydney Theatre Company Returns to the Stage

Sydney Theatre Company today announced its current plans for the remainder of the 2020 season including a return to the stage with a COVIDSafe, socially distanced season of Angus Cerini’s Wonnangatta.

ACO to resume live public performances at City Recital Hall

The Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) has today announced its musicians will return to the concert hall for the first time in six months.

New research shows arts increasingly important to Australians

Australians increasingly recognise the vital role of arts and creativity in almost every aspect of our lives, from education to mental health to strengthening local economies.

New grant initiative for disadvantaged and POC artists

Be You Inc. have recently launched a new grant initiative to provide financial assistance for disadvantaged and POC artists auditioning for tertiary performing arts programs this year.