Interview: Dorothy May talks I Can Fly, Anywhere Festival, and the healing power of humour

Performance artist and teacher Dorothy May has a one night only engagement in Brisbane this weekend, as part of May’s annual Anywhere Festival. Ahead of her show at events-space-cum-circus-school The Sideshow, located in Brisbane’s West End, we caught up with her for a quick chat!

First of all, what’s I Can Fly about?

This show is about finding your wings to fly. It touches on the traumatic event that I needed to address before I could really move on in my life. My own story is mirrored in the evolution of the caterpillars transformation. Using music and clowning in the show I share the joy and silliness of life. I find the story to be more authentic that way. Life is more complicated then putting things in boxes of good and bad.

What inspired you to put the show together?

I had this idea in my mind that I really wanted to be a caterpillar clown, this was years ago. (laughs) I know that my personal story can be a powerful one to share and now it is the right time to share it. This show will be a huge milestone in my life.

You run a creative workshop called The Humour Experiment – could you tell us a little about that?

I want there to be more humour in the world. I can help people have a big exhale through laughter when times are hard. It saved me and it is a powerful force that I have to share now. The Humour Experiment is a Podcast as well as sessions that explore laughter, play, comedy and theatre. I also want to shake up the rigidness that can happen to performer perfectionists. I want to show them that they can connect to play in their performing and really enjoy it all.

How has it been working with Anywhere Festival to get this project out there?

Anywhere festival has been a good wagon to jump onto. It just helps that there will be a buzz around town for theatre. We really need more of that all year round but Anywhere is a great start.

Anywhere Festival is all about making theatre more accessible, and shows are held at unexpected and unlikely venues. Where will you be showing your piece?

I will be showing the piece at The Sideshow in West End. It’s a really cool & colourful venue that just seemed perfect for the show.

And, finally, what’s next on the horizon for you?

I am working on my craft every day; singing, acting, creating ect. I do a lot of work with kids in the performing arts and that will continue on. It gives me so much life doing that work. I will also be looking at performing further developments of this show at different festivals and letting it fly! The old adage, the sky is the limit!

Thanks to Dorothy for taking the time to chat with us!

I Can Fly will be performed on Saturday 11th May, at The Sideshow, West End.
Tickets are available through the Anywhere Festival website.
Find out more about Dorothy and the Humour Experiment on her website!

Jodie Sloan

Living, writing, and reading in Brisbane/Meanjin. Likes spooky books, strong cocktails, and pro-wrestling.