Flinders University drama graduates prepare to say au revoir to iconic French director Zabou Breitman after a month-long residency.
Enabling interaction with an esteemed actress and director with nearly 40 years’ experience has proved to be an opportunity of growth for all parties. It’s this kind of engagement that makes residencies so appealing – for artists, individual students, and institutions alike.
It’s a holistic approach that can net immeasurable rewards for many years to come. This type of industry-based learning is not limited to the world of creative arts, but a transdisciplinary process that goes across all industries and degrees. It’s just another example of Flinders dedication to ensuring rewarding post degree career outcomes for graduates.
And in this case, learning from the best is no exaggeration. The French actress and director first appeared on screen at age four. Iconic in her homeland, she has developed an enviably prolific career. Her many hits have included Beautiful Memories (2001), Les duettistes: Une dette mortelle (1999) and The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik Yak (1984).
In collaboration with Ambassade de France and Flinders University, Zabou has been the Flinders artist in residence for the month of March. It has offered an unparalleled experience for the students – culminating in a performance by drama graduates of her play Foolz: Imperturbable Logic of the Fool. Inspired in part by the ABC documentary series Changing Minds:The Inside Story which follows young patients in the Mental Health Unit of New South Wales based Campbelltown Hospital.
First performed in France, the theatre piece took some tweaking to adapt to the Australian actors and environment. The quick turnaround of the play has garnered critical professional development for the students. This, alongside the international cross-cultural exchange promises an innovative and stimulating learning environment.
“The work to come is not only a challenge for me but a great moment of fun, enjoyment, and sharing,” says Zabou. “I’m counting on the actors to constantly innovate and renew themselves for each performance. In that regard, I love the idea of this creative adventure.”