Stan Kouros in Boy Out of the Country
Stan Kouros, a co-founder of Actors Centre Australia (ACA), is returning to the stage after a break of almost thirty years to take the role of Walker in the Company of Rogues production of Boy Out of the Country at the Bondi Pavilion Theatre May 9-25, 2019.
Felix Nobis' award-winning play tells the story of troubled country boy, Hunter, who returns home from the city after a mysterious seven-year absence to find the family property swept up in a new development, his mother in aged care, and his brother Gordon in charge.
Written in vernacular verse reminiscent of the poetic tradition of Banjo Patterson, Boy Out of the Country is a bush ballad for contemporary Australia, where country towns come to terms with rapid social change, backyards are less important than extra bedrooms, and the places that were once so familiar can change before our eyes.
Stage Whispers spoke to Stan about his latest venture.
What is it like to return to the stage?
It’s like coming home to acting. I’m reconnecting with a life and a craft that I’ve missed being away from. The chance to be creative on stage with a like-minded group of people changes the way I feel in my chest, in my heart. The adrenalin pumps and the brain starts working in different ways to the last twenty odd years since leaving the industry.
What have you been doing since you last performed?
I have been a co-director in the world of business. My love of the acting craft led me to establish Actors Centre Australia with Dean Carey, where I was a Director and Chief Financial Officer. It was an incredible experience, not just from a business perspective, but to be at the coalface of the future of performance in Sydney and Australia was a real privilege. I’ve seen hundreds of students learn, grow and go into the world to contribute to our amazing industry in so many different ways.
I was also fortunate enough to have two daughters with my wife and be there to help them grow into inspiring young adults. 29 years later, I’m still blessed to be loved by these three extraordinary women!
Have you noticed many changes in the industry?
Coming back into it from the performance perspective, the industry today feels much more commercially aware, a little hard-edged and very competitive. Young actors are thinking of the world as their workplace and not just Australia or the city they start in. They also need to be prepared as creative entrepreneurs as well as being great at their craft. They need broad goals and more tools than ever to achieve them.
Outside of that cultural shift, there’s the addition of social media and the internet – which wasn’t even a concern when we started ACA. As a result I think performers are more aware of their own ‘brand’ and being prepared to push that brand. In the 90’s we would hand this work to our PR agent or producer. Social media has changed many things.
What do you like most about the Boy Out of the Country?
I love that it’s written by an Australian, Felix Nobis, about subjects that are effecting us all today - themes that we need to be thinking about such as the impact of urbanisation on families and communities, how technology can unearth secrets we thought long-buried, and what the future of our regional centres really looks like. The action is in a regional country town being changed by real estate development. We experience the deep effect that change has on families and people of the town through comedy, pathos and love. Great stuff!
I also love the vernacular verse that Felix used. He’s an amazing poet and his love of language is present in every line. The language has rhythm and occasional rhyme so it’s a real joy to perform, listen to and watch on stage.
Tell us about your character?
Sergeant Alf Walker is the town cop. Alf Works on his own but on the rare occasion he is called on to help in bigger operations. Not married, with no children or partner, he’s taken on the townspeople as his family – and that comes with all the attachement, concern, hope and love that a father has for his charges. He is at once father, mentor and peacekeeper - the protector of the town. He has lived in the town for his entire life and now is facing the inevitability of progress, and he feels the best way to deal with it is with humour and a nice cold beer.
The language is unique, what are some of your favourite lines?
The comedy comes through the timing in the delivery of some very Australian expressions like; “What kinda yahoos are yuz, eh?” or, “He’s as happy to see you as a warm parcel of shit on a hot day” The context allows the bad language to emphasize the rhythm and humour propelling the language forward. It’s a lot of fun.
Performing at Bondi Beach....how exciting is that?
It’s an iconic Australian place and we get to be there with this beautifully Australian work. It’s very exciting. I remember in my younger days as an actor, a group of us had an ambition to do a play on the beach with helicopters and sound effects dropping actors in and performing for the masses. I’m nearly there…..just need to find a helicopter!
Book Tickets Here.