Putting the Nation on Stage

Meet the cast : Mayu Iwasaki

October 22, 2019

What do you look for in a role and what drew you to White Pearl?

I look for a role that affects the story and to play a role which changes the Japanese stereotype. What drew me to White Pearl is that inherently it is a great opportunity to show multiple layers of a Japanese character.

Tell me a little bit about your character – How did you prepare to get into the role?

I’m playing the role of Ruki, a new office manager from Japan. She is the latest team member of Clearday and very new to the start-up culture.

Currency of language is one of the big themes of the play and Ruki is struggling to have her opinions be heard and be taken seriously because of her language barrier. I’ve experienced similar frustrations numerous times since I’ve moved to Australia when I was 18. If I could present Ruki not just as a stereotypical shy Japanese girl rather a girl who is working really hard to adapt to a new culture and show her strength, I will be very happy.

Have you worked with Priscilla Jackman (director) before?

Yes! I feel incredibly lucky to work with her for the third time. Priscilla always cares about the truth and creates a strong sense of ensemble. It has been an absolute pleasure to share my cultural background and discuss the complicated world of White Pearl with her.

How do you think audiences will react to White Pearl?

When I read the play for the first time, I was a little scared and excited at the same time. The languages of the play are unapologetic, but isn’t it exciting to hear how these ethnic women can also have multiple dimensions to their character?

What is your relationship with Western Sydney?

This is my first time exploring Parramatta area and I’m absolutely in love with this lively city. There are ping pong tables in front of Town Hall that are so popular! There are so many amazing authentic Asian restaurants and I’m definitely putting on some weight trying new foods every day!

What are you working on next?

I’ve recently moved back to Sydney and excited to find a base here!

WHITE PEARL
24 Oct – 9 Nov