Playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer talks ahead of At Sea, Staring Up at JUTE Theatre
Irish-born, Tasmanian-based playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer talks his new play At Sea, Staring Up with Denise Carter
Finegan Kruckemeyer writes so prolifically it makes you wonder if he pulls his work out of a hat.
Just 30 years old, the Tasmanian playwright, originally from Skibbereen, Co. Cork in Ireland, has written 50 commissioned and successful plays and they just keep coming.
“I went to youth theatre from about the age of nine but I realised I was more interested and more adept at writing as opposed to acting,” Finegan says from his Hobart home, where he is interrupting his nine-to-five schedule of writing to talk to timeOUT.
“At the beginning I was just doing tentative stuff, I was interested in how one does it but then I got my first commission to write for young performers to a young audience and so far I’ve been commissioned for 50.”
Kruckemeyer has written plays for adults, his latest At Sea, Staring Up being performed by JUTE Theatre in early March, but his speciality and the majority of his plays are for children.
“I absolutely had that aspiration to move on to create adult theatre, but I went to the World’s Children’s Festival in Adelaide and there I saw this amazing calibre of work and how much respect people had for it,” he says.
“The acknowledgement that you can hit myriad points on an emotional scale really excited me.”
In terms of idols, Finegan says he doesn’t go to much theatre as he lives in Hobart but he likes French playwright Suzanne Lebeau.
“Her play, The Sound of Cracking Bones, is about child soldiers in Africa,” he says.
“She is not afraid to go there.”
Neither is Finegan afraid to go there, with one of his latest, The Tragical Life of Cheeseboy, which opened on 42nd Street in 2011, exploring themes of death and loneliness.
His writing process he describes as boring because he writes at a desk for a standard eight hours each day.
“I’m usually writing two at a time, so I kind of gauge what kind of mood I’m in and make my choice accordingly,” he says.
Finegan doesn’t work to any formula and says he never even learned rules in writing for theatre but it certainly works for him as he has won many awards and is the proud winner of the Sidney Myer Creative fellowship this year, a monetary award in recognition of his work, which will give him more freedom in the next couple of years.
For now he is looking forward to seeing his play for adults at JUTE Theatre.
“Essentially it’s a relationship drama, about people either looking for love or who have lost love,” Finegan says. “I am a romantic. I allowed one of the characters to have a metaphysical element. She can do anything, jump through time and space, and there’s a grounding character, who sits in the car and drives through the German countryside, trying to get her baby to fall asleep and she talks to the baby about the affair she is thinking of having.”
Finegan says he enjoyed the process with JUTE, meeting with artistic director Suellen Maunder, who already knew which actors she was going to use, and dramaturg Peter Matheson.
“Then I go away and write and all these disparate ideas fall into place,” he says.
Suellen describes the first play that she will direct for JUTE’s 20th anniversary year as one of the highlights of her career.
She commissioned Finegan to write the play specifically for five early career actors, who came through JUTE’s annual audition process.
“There is a quality to this work, the language, and the way he can create a world,” Suellen says.
“There is an innocence to the characters, which gives your heart a touch of joy.”
>> At Sea, Staring Up by Finegan Kruckemeyer is at JUTE Theatre from March 9 to 24. Tickets $18-$30. For more information or to book tickets, visit www.jute.com.au
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Romantic: Playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer has one of his new works at JUTE Theatre from March 9.