I adore Catherine Zimdahl.

I met Catherine under the roof of Sidetrack Theatre’s verandah in 2010 during the second week of Stories from the 428. I had only ever heard about her and read her – and until then, I had not met her… it was a light and bubbly chat despite Catherine wrangling the demands of being a mother and an artist – and I was impressed with her various identities: mother, partner, playwright, screenwriter and visual artist. I took it as a sign that being “more than one thing” – something that I had always been discouraged from being (but defied) was normal. She is an artist – why limit the genre? – she is in the pursuit of creation.

At the end of that year I approached her to write for the final year of Brand Spanking New “HereNowThereThen” and handed her writing to the very lovely Jane Eakin and a marvellous cast of Kenneth Moraleda and Matt Young. Last year (my year off) I directed Matthew Charleston in Catherine’s “A Child Into the World” as a part of “I Contain Multitudes” included in NovermberISM at the old 505 Theatre. This year I am working with her on 7-On’s (more info about them here: ) next project celebrating their 7th year together -“Platonic” which is about to be developed at NIDA in November.

Today at The Arts Platform we will be doing a closed door reading of her new full length play “Gifted.” I have enlisted some of my favourite actors to read it:
Helen O’leary, Suz Mawer, Kate Skinner, Stephen Wilkinson, Peter Maple, Shondelle Pratt and Ildiko Susany.

What never ceases to amaze me about making theatre is how much gift giving there is from the moment of inspiration through to production. Catherine has given of herself to write this play, now the actors (who are all great supporters of new work and they are passionate about story) give of their time and talent, and perhaps one day an audience will give of their time and energy to engage with the work. Sometimes a new play needs the gift of space, time, deadline – that can come in the form of developments, residencies, readings, productions, grants, dramaturgical assistance, feedback.

Other times a playwright needs is not those things (except money – playwrights always need money) but unerring, unconditional faith that they are skilled, brilliant artists, who know what they are doing.

Without generosity, without giving without presence there is no theatre.

For more information about Catherine and her work:


More info about The Arts Platform can be found here: