For the past 30 years, Susie Dee has worked extensively in the theatre as a performer, devisor and director, both in Australia and overseas.

Susie Dee headshot

Susie's project

Susie will undertake six months of research to inform her most ambitious theatre work yet, based on the 1882 travelogue On Sledge and Horseback to Outcast Siberian Lepers. This non-fiction work details a nurse’s journey from the UK to a leper colony in far east Siberia and Susie will travel to London and Russia following the life of the protagonist, retracing her path from the book and exploring the notion of an ‘outcast’. Susie will learn new filmmaking skills to document the trip and on her return, she will commence adapting the book and set up a lab-style workshop at the University of Melbourne’s Union Theatre. Susie will work with students to experiment with form and ways to bring the story to life both dramatically and through the use of dynamic, largescale staging to be operated by the performers.

What does being awarded a Creators Fund grant mean to you?
It means 'time'. Time to hop off the crazy freelance wheel and be able to take time out for a work that I have been thinking about and that has been on the back burner for a couple of years. To be able to research, write, travel and develop!

How important is 'time' to you, as an artist/creative professional?
Very! I am always time poor when it come to the creative side. I tend to get stuck in a constant stream of 'creative negotiations'- re projects past, present and future- I crave for quality time to digest, think and develop...

What's the first thing you did when you found out you were awarded a Creator's Fund grant?
Breathe a big sigh of relief.

What are you most looking forward to over the months ahead?
The time, the time, the time and resources to travel and to expand my thinking process, to research, to read, to be stimulated, to be reinvigorated.

Where would like to see yourself at the end of this process? How do you anticipate your career will develop as a result?
I would like to see myself refreshed and reinvigorated. I am hoping to have a good solid first stage of a performance draft of a big experimental work (with a swag of images/footage). I am hoping my career will keep growing as an independent artist and I will have the energy and drive to initiate more kick arse theatrical work- maybe the main stage companies might even be interested!