To Greece and Back: An Interview with Elena Carapetis

The writer talks about her new play The Gods of Strangers and putting her heritage on the stage.

Writer Elena Carapetis

Generally in Australian film and theatre, we don’t consider ourselves as having a multiplicity of identity. We’re very much a nation represented by the every-man, which is particularly relevant to migrant and non-Anglo-Saxon stories. In Christos Tsiolkas’ Loaded he writes about a second generation Greek Australian named Ari, who says the following about his experience as a migrant:

I’m not Australian, I’m not Greek. I’m not anything. I’m not a worker, I’m not a student, I’m not an artist, I’m not a junkie, I’m not a conversationalist, I’m not Australian, not a wog, not anything… What I am is a runner. Running away from the thousand and one things that people say you have to be or should want to be.

How do these Ideas relate to The Gods of Strangers?

Fran Lebowitz once said that tourists ruin a city and migrants bring culture. Can you speak to how migrants have changed and contributed to the culture in South Australia, and the importance of bringing those stories to the stage?

Elena Carapetis talks about the women she’s bringing to the stage in The Gods of Strangers

As much as this is a story about the migrant experience, it’s very explicitly about the experiences of women, their power and their resilience. Why did this story need to be told? How have migrant women shaped your life and creative process?

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