A Quick Chat With Zoe Trilsbach

Zoe Trilsbach is an actor and one of the founding members of Workhorse Theatre Co. Last year, their production of The Motherf**ker With the Hat played to critical acclaim in the tiny TAP Gallery. This year, it’s being re-staged as part of Darlinghurst Theatre Co’s 2014 season in the new Eternity Playhouse.

If you had to describe your career in five words, which five words would you use?
Up, down, fun, diverse, wouldn’thaveitanyotherway

Zoe Trilsbach.
Zoe Trilsbach.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A vet or a florist!

What was your first theatre project – and how old were you?
I think I was about 10years old and I played a seal. It was a community theatre group in the town I grew up in. I remember finding the line ‘don’t cry for me Marge and Tina’ hysterical!

Best (or worst) onstage mishap that you can remember?
I have been known to go arse over tit numerous times.

What was the best piece of career advice you ever received – and who gave it to you?
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again…Mum

Can you explain how your company, Workhorse Theatre Company, came about?
We were inspired by an acting coach Larry Moss. When told that it was hard to find work in Australia he said “Horseshit! Create your own”. So we did.

What has been the most unexpected challenge from founding your own company?
I guess the sheer volume of work. It’s easy to say ‘let’s start a company’, but actually doing it, and doing it wholeheartedly is a whole other thing.

What has been the most unexpected pleasure?
A nomination at The Sydney Theatre Awards for MOFO.

Your show, The Motherf**ker with The Hat, was last performed at the tiny TAP Gallery. How have you found the process of adapting it to the Eternity Playhouse space?
So freeing! The characters are enormous, so to be able to open them up even more to fill The Eternity is heaven.

What is it like to revisit this play and the character of Veronica quite a while after your first production of the play?
It’s like a brain explosion. In that period I’ve been pregnant and now have a little 6 month old girl. Veronica aches to have her life together and to be a mother. To have such opposing experiences on and off stage is such a ride!

What’s the best thing about independent theatre in Australia?
The intimacy you get with small theatres.

What’s the worst thing about it?
Finding funding.

What was the last book you read that you loved?

If you could perform in any play, which would it be and who would you play?
Veronica in The Motherf**ker with the Hat ; )

If you could produce any play in the world, which would it be?
Ooh…I’d love to produce a Tennessee Williams. Sweet Bird of Youth would be fab!

Name something on your bucket list.
Swimming with whale sharks

What’s your go-to party trick?
Party? What’s that?

Which play (that isn’t yours!) would you encourage audiences to see?
Wish I’d had the chance to go to the theatre. Sorry

What’s next for you after this play?
Our first family trip to Byron Bay for a friend’s wedding. Cannot wait for some down time after the chaos of producing and performing in MOFO.

Can you talk a little bit about the play and why people should see it, for those who missed it the first time around?
This was the very first play that a friend of mine had seen (shame on her). She laughed, cried and was completely transported for the 90mins that she watched. She felt like she’d been missing out on something so special her entire life…live theatre. Need I say more. Mofo tackles so many issues; love, fidelity, loss, addiction, that it’s hard not to find a connection within the play. Come!!

You can book tickets for The Motherf**ker With the Hat at http://www.darlinghursttheatre.com/.

Cassie Tongue

Cassie is a theatre critic and arts writer in Sydney, and is the deputy editor of AussieTheatre. She has written for The Guardian, Time Out Sydney, Daily Review, and BroadwayWorld Australia. She is a voter for the Sydney Theatre Awards.

Cassie Tongue

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