Greek Australian actress, Ariadne Sgouros, will make her mainstage debut in Scenes from the Climate Era at Belvoir Theatre in the Sydney suburb of Surry Hills from May 27 to June 25.
Written by David Finnigan and directed by Carissa Licciardello, the play is a collection of 50 scenes and one of the most challenging plays Ariadne has worked on.
The scenes detail life within this climate era we find ourselves in—the present, the past, and a speculative future. Ariadne plays a multitude of characters from a scientist to a consultant to a nurse.
The roles challenge Ariadne to open herself to different people’s experiences and human emotions as she transitions continually on the stage from scene to scene.
The Greek Herald sat down with Ariadne to talk about how her acting career and her Greek heritage has given her an appreciation for the craft of storytelling.
Influential Greek grandparents:
Ariadne was born in Athens, Greece, to a Greek dad and Australian mum. Her parents, who met in Greece, moved to Bowral, NSW when Ariadne was four years old. Growing up listening to her grandparents and dad talk about family stories kept her connected to her Greek heritage.
The actress, who recently appeared in Home and Away, was encouraged to pursue theatre by her grandma and grandpa from a young age. Ariadne’s grandparents saw a cheeky kid who loved to perform.
“Both my grandparents had such a passion for history and Greek theatre,” Ariadne tells The Greek Herald.
“Every time I wanted to do a little show for my grandparents, they would be so excited.”
The idea of pursuing theatre and performance grew faint overtime. However, after Year 12, Ariadne went on a gap year in England, the United Kingdom, and worked with children doing drama classes. While there, she realised she had kept herself from acting as a career path.
“You think, how do you make money and support yourself?” Ariadne says, whilst adding that she pushed past the fear of the unknown.
“I took a leap and applied for a Bachelor of Performing Arts at Monash University in Melbourne.”
Greek heritage and an appreciation for storytelling:
In her second year of studying, Ariadne applied to The National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), Australia’s leading centre for performing arts, on a whim. She was offered a placement and her acting career began.
The Greek Australian actress has since been in numerous Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) short films, including The Retreat, Reunion and Gorgon, where she had to speak entirely in Greek.
Until the short film, Ariadne had lost touch with the Greek language, re-teaching herself for the role. She was reminded of the influence Greeks have in theatre, and of her grandparents’ stories about Greek amphitheatre.
“My Greek heritage has helped me to have a deep appreciation for storytelling,” Ariadne says.
“The way Greeks craft a story, and the process of storytelling, has propelled me forward in wanting to tell other people’s stories.
“Even the basics of Aristotle and theory of time and performance and knowing that it is a Greek concept. People have done this for years before I have. So many Greeks have established this art of storytelling and this thing we call ‘theatre.’ The fact that I am a small cog in this machine feels like such a great privilege.”
Ariadne says a strong component of Greek storytelling is the command of time. It doesn’t matter how long the story is, the audience is going to come on a journey with the writer.
Ariadne believes people often apologise for that level of detail in a story – but not the Greeks.
“Greeks are unapologetic about the craft of storytelling. In Australia, there is a bit of a tall poppy syndrome where you don’t want to shine too bright,” she says.
But Ariadne has embraced the ‘unapologetic’ side of herself acting in an Australian landscape.
“Being in the theatre you must have a level of ‘I’ve got this’,” Ariadne concludes.
Ariadne Sgouros will be making her mainstage debut at Belvoir Theatre in Scenes from the Climate Era from May 27 to June 25. More details here.