Larisa, in your new play Papercut you focus on the education system and specifically the behaviour of teachers in a critical situation…
is about a secondary school teacher who becomes an involuntary whistle-blower by denouncing failings within Luxembourg’s marking system of exam papers. The play will look at how she came across those failings and what motivated her to do something about it, as well as the aftermath. The play is inspired by the School-Leaks scandal that rocked Luxembourg in 2015. Around the same time Antoine Deltour leaked PwC info, and set off LuxLeaks. I found it interesting to note that while Deltour was hailed as a whistleblower, the teachers were viewed as traitors. Yet the origin of their actions was fairly similar: they noticed something off in their work environment and alerted us to it.
What kind of research did you do?
The research consists of three strands: gathering newspaper articles and available court documents, reading about whistleblowing and philosophical thoughts on change in society, and, finally, interviewing one of the concerned teachers.
I know one teacher personally from my time at LCE. She kindly let me into her mental and personal space of how she lived through the consequences of whistleblowing and is still dealing with them.
You work as an actor and writer/director. How do your aspirations change depending on these different roles?
As an actor, I see myself as a service provider. I've got skills a director needs to make their vision happen. Getting to know this vision, working with it, materialising it, are among the most exciting aspects of acting.
As a writer I create characters, stories, forms, and I'm very protective of that world. Writing feels much more delicate and vulnerable. When a critic rips up your play or film it sort of stings deeper than a bad review of a performance.
Directing combines skills needed in both acting and writing on top of a whole array of tools and knowledge necessary to bring a story to life. It's a scary endeavour to be honest. Embarking on it only makes sense for my own work.
What inspires you as an author?
I'm drawn to stories about some sort of injustice I can't comprehend. Most of my work is inspired by true events that catch my attention. Writing is my way of shedding light on it by working through it. I guess this particular interest stems from my own story: being born in a communist dictatorship and learning about my family's hardships, about what people sacrificed to fight for a different way of life. I've never forgotten where I've come from, how immigration, integration and adoption have shaped me. These notions are somewhat embedded in Papercut
: who has access to privilege and why? What creates change for the better? And why should we need to bother with pointing out what seems off.
You can read about MEETING Larisa Faber here.