Samantha Chester’s childhood in The Astronaut at The Blue Room Theatre


Samantha Chester.
Samantha Chester.

DESPITE her hectic schedule as WAAPA movement lecturer, Samantha Chester has still managed to find time to create and perform new solo physical theatre piece, The Astronaut.

Chester moved to Perth a year ago from Sydney, where she was working as a freelance movement director and choreographer.

She said her season of The Astronaut at The Blue Room Theatre from June 21 to July 9 was all about adding to her professional development in a new arts community.

“I think it’s really important as a facilitator and educator in performance to put yourself out there and challenge yourself as an artist,” Chester said.

“I’m always telling my students to lean into the work and not be afraid if they fail; to take a risk.

“I think it’s very important we remain fresh and alive to what we’re teaching.”

Directed by her WAAPA colleague Frances Barbe, The Astronaut is a simple story about one woman and how she recovers from heartbreak and decides to move on with her life.

Chester said she was inspired by the simplicity of Samuel Beckett’s works, the idea of possibility instilled through the Apollo missions, her childhood and her mother’s story.

“My father left when I was two years old and it’s very much about that moment where he walked away and how for a woman in the 1960s, what that did,” she said.

“No one got divorced then. She had three girls and looked after my grandmother and grandfather.

“Sometimes when we’re in those states of grief or loss, we think that there is no possibility anymore.

“For her, this is about how she really moved on and taught me that we are quite tiny but our journey is very important.

“And to go for it and live fully. It’s been such a privilege to make this work.”

THE ESSENTIALS

What: The Astronaut

Where: The Blue Room Theatre

When: June 21 to July 9

Tickets: www.blueroom.org.au