A family's story in song
It's been a year since Roz Pappalardo took to the stage to perform her one-woman show, Rosa.
In 2011, it was at JUTE Theatre in Cairns.
It’s still a JUTE Theatre Company production but next Saturday, September 15, it will be performed in an even more personal place for Roz, at Innisfail.
"It’s a very weird feeling," Roz says.
"It feels like it is meant to happen here in this space and in this town."
That’s because the play, based on the lives of Roz’s family through three generations, follows a geographical expanse from Sicily to Mena Creek.
Roz says she has family coming to the show from Innisfail, Mena Creek, Silkwood and the Tableland.
"There are three characters in the play and I play all three," Roz says.
"Rosa in real life was the name of my Italian nonna, whom I never met.
"It is about her living and growing up in Sicily in a tiny village named Fondachello.
"She met my grandfather and there was some resistance to him being the right person for her from her parents."
Rosa, however, rebelled, and waited for the love of her life to return from the war.
The couple then migrated to Australia, to Far North Queensland, and made a new life.
"The story has definite roots in my family history but I tried to remove it enough so that it’s not a complete reflection," the singer-songwriter says.
"I also appear playing myself as a frustrated songwriter trying to make a living in an uncertain arts industry.
"The character goes to Sicily to find out her history, and there is some time travel in there too."
In the show, Roz sings 10 songs, which she penned especially for the production, and which make up an album that will be sold at the show.
"They wrote themselves and just poured out of me," she says.
Roz is a singer-songwriter primarily, and calls songwriting her "bread and butter".
She performs solo, and in the bands, Women in Docs, and Roz Pappalardo and the Wayward Gentlemen.
Roz is working on her second solo album and is writing a new play to be completed by the end of the year.
She has been running through Rosa in the Johnstone Shire Hall at Innisfail, where it will be performed, and she is really looking forward to performing the show once again in front of an audience.
"I’m telling you it’s a beautiful venue, one of the most beautiful venues I’ve ever performed in," she says.
"It’s a beautiful, natural amplifier."
Rosa, produced by JUTE Theatre Company, presented by the Cassowary Coast Council, and supported by Paronella Park, is in the Johnstone Shire Hall at 70 Rankin St, Innisfail, at 7.30pm on September 15.
The first 50 ticket bookings made through the JUTE website, www.jute.com.au, will receive a complementary Rosa album. Tickets: Adults $25, concessions also apply. Tickets also available from council offices at Innisfail, Tully and Cardwell.
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Roz Pappalardo's Italian heritage was the inspiration behind her new show, Rosa.