I is Maggie
by Dennis McIntosh and Saengthien Klamkaew
Maggie’s workplace, an industrial laundry servicing the luxury hotels of a tourist paradise, is ironically anything but paradise; working conditions are rife with dangers, discrimination and punitive work practices. Thai immigrant Maggie determines she will make a difference, she will not be silenced, and she will be heard. Based on the lived experience of co-playwright Saengethien, this humorous, tender and powerful script expresses struggles felt by migrants in the workplace, especially those vulnerable because English is not their first language.
Tivy Siripanich – Maggie
Bodelle De Ronde – Noong, Pak and Phor
Susan Prince – Ruth
Andy Warren – Rocket man, Jan, Henrik, Klaus and Truck Driver
Contains Mild Course Language
Approximately 1 hr 30 minutes
Rated PG – Mild Course Language
CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM PAGE INDEX
Dennis is currently working as a part time EAL/D teacher. The last several years of work have been dedicated to mostly remote Indigenous education. He is also heavily committed to writing other scripts and texts after starting life as a shearer/ construction worker (seven years) then working for seven years digging a sewage tunnel, twenty years as a swim coach and fourteen years working in schools and at university as a part time teacher, student, and research candidate.
Having lived the life of a working-class person, Dennis then unpacked his experiences at University. He likes to say that he has lived life twice. Dennis started with JUTE in late 2017 with Kathryn Ash in the Write Sparks Program. Kathryn guided him and Saenthien in the early development of the play and provided dramaturgical advice through each stage of its creation.
He was excited that a theatre company and its community of theatre goers had a vision to explore the current lives of people on the margins. Maggie’s lack of standard English and the fact that her work was repetitive factory work was not a deterrent to JUTE; rather, it was embraced. While he did become despondent about the play’s prospects during the pandemic shutdowns, Kathryn and Suellen remained resolute that this story would be told.
Saengthien (Maggie) Klamkaew
Maggie was born in the province of Chai Nat in Thailand in 1970. She migrated to Australia in 2008 and became an Australian citizen in 2016. She has three Thai children all of whom are now Australian Citizens, and she has three Australian-born, multi-cultural grandchildren. She has three sons-in law who are of Chinese, Afghan and Australian heritage. A very multi-cultural family indeed! Maggie works part time for the Department of Education as a cleaner and also runs her own business: Maggie’s Cleaning Services.
Maggie loves Australia because she says that we are not a jealous race. However, she has experienced systemic racism and fought against exploitation at work and stereotyping. Maggie spent some years working in an industrial laundry and it was her experiences of powerlessness at work that prompted I Is Maggie.
She has always told stories and was excited about the idea of bringing her experiences to life on stage with the JUTE Theatre Company. Having spent several years working in hot factories, Maggie is looking forward to watching the factory come to life on stage – in the comfort of an airconditioned theatre.
As JUTE Theatre Company’s Creative Producer, Kathryn Ash is a Cairns-based dramatist and dramaturg, working a variety of company writing development projects including JUTE’s Write Sparks writing development program and also their online learning program Write Out Loud. She has worked as playwright and writing mentor on an extensive Arts Festival program for Cairns City Council and Commonwealth Games in 2018 and in 2019 was co-writer of a highly acclaimed musical drama ‘Woven” with AustraNesia Choir.
She is also a published playwright, including an award-winning play Bag O’Marbles, winner of the New York Dramatist Exchange in 2002, and over 25 produced plays to date, her most recent play Here We All Are. Assembled produced by JUTE and published by Playlab (2019).
She worked as dramaturg on the 2019 Matilda Award-Winning play The Longest Minute during its 2-year development process. During the pandemic, she has been busy with two national writing projects Dear Australia for Playwriting Australia and Come To Where I Am by Critical Stages, both of which resulted in online presentation of her work through those two peak playwrighting bodies.
Ash was also the driving force behind JUTE’s award-winning and highly respected dramaturgical script development program, Enter Stage Write, which operated for 16 years, and opened up long-term career pathways for over 25 regional playwrights. She is a founding member of JUTE, and is delighted to continue her long relationship with a company that has grown to be a regional force in writing practice.
Pranchalee Natty Khajai is a director and theatre practitioner. She currently is doing a Master of Directing at the Victorian College of the Arts. Pranchalee has a background in design thinking methodology, creative practices, and business. She completed her Bachelors degree at Chulalongkorn University in Industrial Design (ID) in Bangkok, Thailand before moving to Melbourne in 2014.
As much as loving visual communications, she is also interested in exploring theatre in different cultures and languages and finding ways to collaborate her design practices and theatre to create new works with bold voice. Her recent research and internships were in several cities such as Brisbane, Miaoli, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok, and Chiang Dao. Her previous works as a director include Lakorn TapadTapad: Mulan, Snow White’s Little Guys, and SOD SAI Draft 01.
Tivy Siripanich is a Thai Australian actor based in Sydney. Born in Thailand and raised in Europe, she spent her childhood moving around and hating Ikea. Tivy grew up with a passion for singing and performing which developed into a love for musical theatre, acting and partner acrobatics.
Tivy is a recent graduate from The Actors Centre (ACA) where her highlights include Clytemnestra in Agamemnon: The Iphigenia Quartet (dir. Claudia Barrie), Sister Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet (dir. Craig Baldwin), Kristine in A Doll’s House (dir. Frankie Savage), Lena in A Mouthful of Birds (dir. Lucy Burke) and her personal favourite – Betty 3 in Collective Rage (dir. Troy Harrison).
Prior to ACA, Tivy worked on a variety of independent and university productions including Packemin Productions’ Miss Saigon (dir. Neil Gooding & Ylaria Rodgers), Factory Space Theatre’s A Peculiar River (Measure for Measure) (dir. Roz Riley), Balter Theatre’s Hypnagogism as Taryn, MTS’s The Threepenny Opera as Polly Peachum, Spring Awakening as Martha and NUT’s Assassins as Lynette (Squeaky) Fromme. Since graduating, Tivy has most recently worked on Fervour’s Burn Witch Burn as Margaret (dir. Claudia Osborne).
In January 2020, Tivy worked with JUTE Theatre Company for the first time on the creative development of I Is Maggie. Almost three years later, Tivy looks forward to reprise her role as Maggie and bring her story to life.
Bodelle De Ronde
Bodelle de Ronde is of Chinese Thai origin and spent school holidays growing up playing with her cousins and working in her family’s Thai fruit business in Bangkok.
Bodelle is a BA (Hons) Acting graduate of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama London, where she went on to work in theatre, TV and film before playing the role of Jenni in TV series The Cult (Channel Seven).
Bodelle also studied at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. She has voiced numerous characters for online game Path of Exile, appeared in a number of commercials, music videos and online videos including Superwog.
Bodelle has worked with Sydney theatre companies New Theatre, Lies, Lies and Propaganda, Ninefold Ensemble and Glorious Thing Theatre Co. In her most recent role as a mother of two Bodelle finds time to voice Spotify and regional radio commercials.
Susan is a proud founding member of JUTE Theatre Company. She has performed in over 85 plays and has done directing, stage management, lighting operating, costume design and construction and many creative developments during her 54 year career. Susan’s main focus is on community development, where she has had the opportunity to work with young people with different abilities, at risk and indigenous communities, throughout regional and remote Queensland.
Susan has worked with QTC, Creative Regions, Box Jelly Theatre Company, Tropic Sun and Full Throttle Theatre Companies, on main stage productions, creative developments and toured to 96 remote communities throughout Queensland.
Susan has written many theatre pieces for young people and won a Highly Commended from ‘The Australian’ for her play “Aids The Musical”. She founded Arts ‘N Co Youth Theatre Company and was integral to the initial foundations of Graft ‘n Arts and The Tanks community arts centres.
Susan’s biographical one-woman show “Is My Lipstick on Straight” which enveloped all the aspects of being a woman with a disability in the arts was performed in Cairns and Townsville in 2015. Susan has been a facilitator of the arts for over 30 years and as such believes the arts are necessary for a healthy community.
Susan was acknowledged for her artistic achievements at ‘The Conservatorium of Music’ in Innisfail in 2018.
Andy RJ Warren
Andy is an emerging actor, writer and multimedia artist. Born in Cairns and raised in Gordonvale, Andy’s passion for theatre and art began at a very early age with drawing pictures and playing pretend. Their approach to art has always been derived from an innate desire and talent for expression.
Andy’s pursuit of theatre began when people in their community suggested that their knack for impressions and memorising of scenes and skits from film and television would make them ideal for something like the dramatic arts. With this advice in hand, they entered Gordonvale State High School’s drama program at 16. Andy has rarely looked back since.
Andy began performing on stage in community theatre in 2013 with Tropical Art’s production of Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well in Cairns, but moved to Townsville to study a Bachelor of New Media Arts at JCU. After finding the lecture halls to be more stifling than inspiring, they soon left to pursue the life of an independent artist, taking up roles as a writer, director, editor and actor in various projects – even spending some time as a freelance videographer.
In recent years, Andy has been a mainstay of Full Throttle Theatre’s program in Townsville, performing in Astronomical (2018), Pygmalion (2019), Astronomical 2 (2019), Sweeney Todd (2019), King Ubu (2020), Love & Information (2021), Cosmological (2021). Andy was also a lead voice actor with Theatre of Diversion’s Tides, an interactive dramatic podcast that can be found on Spotify.
COMPOSER AND SOUND DESIGNER
Wil’s credits as a composer, songwriter and sound designer for theatre have ranged from contemporary ballet to musicals, and include Tiddas, Single Asian Female, The Dead Devils of Cockle Creek, The Village, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Wind in the Willows (La Boite Theatre Company); Face to Face (Playlab); Arc, Still Life (Australasian Dance Collective); Kill Climate Deniers (That Production Company); Elizabeth I (Monsters Appear/Wonderland Festival); Rice, The Scene Project 2018 (Queensland Theatre); Mind Your Head, From Within, Sonder, B-Sides (Queensland Ballet); Propel (Expressions Dance Company); We Will Not Kiss/Touch/Frighten You in the Dark, Caligula (The Danger Ensemble); The Theory of Everything (Brisbane Festival/Metro Arts); Dust Covered Butterfly (Metro Arts); and Sweet Meniscus (Anywhere Theatre Festival).
Wil is also an internationally acclaimed composer for film, television and other media, and in 2018 was awarded Composer of the Year by the California Independent Film Festival.
Born in Bologna (Italy), Simone started off as a sculptor, trained in Conservation, fresco and ornamental design. Passionate for the Opera theatre, he completed his academic studies in Scenic design at the Fine Art Academy of Bologna, the School of Melodrama and Teatro Bonci in Cesena.
He designed his first Madama Butterfly at 22 years and developed his knowledge and skills in years of training, and contracted work with major theatre companies such as Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Rossini Festival, Regio di Parma, Teatro la Scala, Piccolo, to name a few.
He worked with internationally awarded directors as Peter and Irina Brooks, Luca Ronconi, Pier’Alli, Yoshi Oida and iconic artists such as Dario Fo. Since he moved to Cairns in 2012, he has designed for the major local theatre companies and entities like JUTE productions To Kill A Cassowary, Here We All Are. Assembled, and the Matilda award-winning The Longest Minute; Queensland Theatre as costume designer on Othello, as designer on City of Gold , My Name is Jimi (Matilda Awards nominee Best design in 2017) and Commonwealth Games production Beginnings.
Since COVID-19 he has developed his own work with his wife Simona, writing, producing and designing for a new children production Lucky, in collaboration with Grin and Tonic, and JUTE Theatre Company.
Simona is a set and costume designer, scenic designer, and artist who blends traditional artforms and techniques with technologies. Before arriving in Australia in 2012, Simona trained and worked in professional theatre while graduating with honours at the fine Art Academy in Bologna in Scenic design.
Simona started off in Opera Theatre in several capacities. She was a costume designer for Teatro Comunale di Bologna and OperaOvunque, an AV designer with Teatro Bonci di Cesena, Scuola del Melodramma, Accademia di Belle Arti and also a scenic artist with the latter. She has also freelanced as decorator and scenic artist in the interior design and events industries.
Since her arrival in Cairns in 2012, Simona has worked as set/costume designer for JUTE Theatre Company (To Kill a Cassowary, Here we all are. Assembled,The Longest minute-Matilda awards). She currently is also working with Queensland Theatre as costume designer on Othello (at Bulmba-ja this November) and previously worked for them as set designer (City of Gold, My Name is Jimi-Matilda Awards nominee in Best design). Simona is developing and producing “Lucky” a new children’s production in collaboration with Grin and Tonic, and JUTE Theatre Company, working as designer and puppeteer.
LIGHTING DESIGNER AND PRODUTION MANAGER
With a professional career spanning over 20 years, Sam has managed and designed for countless national and international theatre productions / events / festivals / productions in a variety of roles. Sam has worked in a freelance capacity as production manager, event operations manager, technical manager,
technical designer, stage manager, tour manager, technical operator, theme designer, FOH audio engineer, audio monitor engineer and lighting designer.
Sam continues to tour extensively around the country and overseas in a variety of technical, design, tour management and production management roles Sam has worked in a variety of dynamic and challenging venues around Australia. Working on events within the Rainforest to the Sydney Opera House, sometimes working around the clock to ensure nothing but the best outcome is realised.
Sam is currently working on creating an online Technical Production program for JUTE which will become available in 2022 for those wishing to pursue a working knowledge of this exciting and demanding field of theatre work. Sam has worked on over 20 JUTE Theatre Company productions.
Eve Lynch is a Creative Arts Graduate with international and national experience. Eve is a jack of all trades from playing Maria in twelfth night in Prague with the Australian Shakespeare company to running their FOH and merchandise for their Kew gardens summer season in the UK to MCing, Comedy and Script Writing.
Eve has been living up in the top end for the last three years flying out to
regional and remote communities as a performer as well as performing at Darwin Fringe Festival, Darwin festival and Freds pass show to name a few of the incredible opportunities the top end has to offer.
Eve has focused on growing her skills in tech and stage management this year and has been lucky enough to work on Jarradah Goorogulli – Dance of the Brolgas (Browns Mart theatre 2022), Wana by Norther Territory dance company (Darwin Entertainment Centre 2022) , Kindness festival (Kindness shake 2022) As a stage manager and Garry star , Luke kidgeland the pride festival forums as a Technician (Browns mart theatre).
This project is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland
This project was made possible by the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund, provided through Regional Arts Australia, administered in Queensland by Flying Arts Alliance.