First published on 1 Oct 2010. Updated on 11 Apr 2011.
All my questions are going to be about the last Indiana Jones movie, I hope that's OK.
Cate: Fantastic! Fine.
Andrew:That's fine! Can I go?
Actually, I'm wondering how often you go to the theatre just as audience members?
Cate: We try and see as much as we possibly can. You've got to keep abreast of what emerging directors are doing, who's doing interesting lighting... And you don't always just want to be going to see ‘straight theatre' - though I don't know what the term ‘straight theatre' actually means.
Last I heard was that your boys hated the theatre. Has that changed at all in the past year?
Andrew: It must have a little bit because I took Dash to Our Town on Saturday night and he's eight, and Cate took Roman, our little boy, to Leviathan - and I think they both enjoyed it, didn't they?
Cate: I think they don't like it when it means we're out half the week. This is not a job to do with young kids: their body clocks are completely antithetical to the body clock of the job. So we've had to find a way to deal with that. We divvy it up between the two of us; we leave someone at home. I mean we used to, before children, have that luxury of going out and seeing the same thing, whereas now it's a bit more strategic.
From my vantage point it's been a stellar year for you.
Andrew: That's good to hear.
Cate: As good as the year was I think it leads into a discussion about 2011 because the programme for 2011 was built on relationships established this year or in the previous year.
Andrew: Some project seeds we planted in 2007 and 2008 are starting to poke their heads up into the sun and it's great. You can't help but think about the roll-on effect of building relationships with artists like [director] Iain Sinclair, who we teamed up with our own artists in Our Town [Sinclair is translating and directing Blood Wedding].
Cate: And someone like Sarah Goodes [directing Edward Gant's Amazing Feats of Loneliness] who's been through the assistant director's programme and done incredible work there.
Andrew: I think it's a very interesting thing when you've got something recurring and resonating. In  it's Americanness. Next year there's a historical European flavour.
Andrew, you've said that when you're working you're struck by a ‘flash' - do you get that flash when you're curating a season?
Andrew: We follow our nose for a while. And we set ourselves a couple of parameters. So this year for instance we were looking out for roles for women, because we felt there are some great female actors in Australia and we wanted to have great roles to offer them. The two productions we were definitely going to do were Gross und Klein [starring Blanchett], and Bloodland, which Stephen [Page] and Wayne [Blair] brought to us quite early this year.
You're a wonderful team - but as individuals, do you each bring different elements to the equation?
Cate: Andrew has the big ideas. [To Andrew:] You do! Anything big and broad and deep.
Andrew: I'm not going to say no to that now, am I?
Cate: But also you're not bound up in popular culture.
Andrew: [to Cate] What are you suggesting? That I'm stuffy?
Cate: You seem to always be two or three steps ahead; whereas I can often get bogged down in the here and now and the mechanics of things.
Andrew: I'm the talker, she's the doer.
Cate: [to Time Out] I don't know if you find this, but when you're involved in a creative endeavour, it can be quite a superstitious industry. You always think, well, what if the well of ideas dries up? What if the muse leaves me? But collaborations happen in theatre, when directors find people they can converse with and allow the ideas to grow. And when you can find someone to collaborate with - someone you can converse with and allow ideas to grow - and end up marrying them... I think that's a really rare thing.
You two also have a bird's eye view of Sydney.
Andrew: We do. It's very important. There's an opportunity in this city. A huge opportunity for Barangaroo and the Opera House and this precinct to make something really unique, really beautiful and really world-class. It hasn't happened yet, but it could happen - and we would really love to be spokespeople for that while we're here.
Cate: It's obvious, on a cultural and spiritual level, what it would mean for the people of Sydney:
to move through this whole area, from the Sydney Opera House through to Walsh Bay and on to Barangaroo, to be able to enter different spaces and experience the complexity and diversity of the performing arts in Sydney ... and join in.
Book for the Sydney Theatre Company's 2011 season at Sydney Theatre.
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