Maori trans artist Kikki Temple is the first international performer to star in the acclaimed play 'BURGERZ' by Travis Alabanza. "When I read what Travis had written, I felt a sense of relief knowing someone had articulated what I had been trying to say the whole time." We catch up with Kikki ahead of the highly anticipated international premiere season at Theatre Works.
Q: What can you tell us about Burgerz and do you remember your initial response to the play after your first read?
A: I remember feeling like this was a story I needed to tell. Like the words have been on my lips the whole time but I just didn’t know how to get them out. When I read what Travis had written, I felt a sense of relief knowing someone had articulated what I had been trying to say the whole time. Q: How does live cooking work in this show?
A: Live cooking is the vehicle by which I get to play with the ideas of gender in a way that is palatable. In this piece an incident involving a burger is described and pulling that burger apart becomes an exercise in “digesting” what happened as well as asking the audience what they could have done in a similar situation.
Q: Without giving too much away, what role do audience participants play in Burgerz?
A: The biggest role.
Q: What interests you the most about the representation of gender and race on our stages?
A: We have a fairly long way to go with regard to representation of race and gender and I guess I’m interested to see where and how far we, as a community, are willing to go in order to ensure we are ALL represented. But it’s getting better!!
Q: What advice would you give gender non-conforming and transgender artists who wish to pursue a career in theatre or performance making?
A: Create, explore, connect with companies and directors that hold the same values as you and believe your identity is valid. Then continue to work and make magic with them over and over again.
Q: If you could invite anyone to Burgerz, who would it be?
A: I would invite my old pastor. For obvious reasons. BURGERZ By Travis Alabanza 8-18 February Theatre Works BOOK HERE