An Interview with Sarah McNeill

Meet Sarah McNeill, the brains behind the ever-hilarious and entertaining, Lit Live: Literature Read Live on Stage.

Sarah McNeill performing at Lit Live

Sarah McNeill performing at Lit Live

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What colour would you be and why?

I'd want to take all the brightest colours in the box! I love flame red, bright orange, fuchsia pink and electric blue! I think colours reflect the way we feel, so I always try to feel colourful—if not always bright!

Tell us how you have been involved with the Centre for Stories.

I have been writing about the Centre for Stories in my capacity as Arts Editor for a while at POST Newspapers. I then approached Caroline with my idea for Lit Live and her enthusiasm and support meant it just took off. Now I'm also on the committee for the Australian Short Story Festival to be held at the Centre for Stories in October.

What do you do in your daily life?

I walk my dog every morning and she sits and watches me with bored curiosity as I do all my morning exercises in the park! Four days a week, I work at POST Newspapers as the Arts Editor and whenever I can, I visit an op-shop. I go out most evenings to see live theatre, opera or ballet.

What is your favourite way to consume stories? Reading, listening, watching?

All of the above. I am passionate about live theatre. I read books every day late into the night (and sometimes in the early hours of the morning) and I've just started a book club in my suburb. When I'm out walking, I listen to podcasts—especially story-telling or radio plays. That's why I want to share stories at Lit Live, because I also love telling them!

Why do you think stories are important?

Stories in whatever form they come are a vital way to connect and engage with people. Stories reflect and build on ideas, passions, interests and histories. They give us our past, they share our present, and show us a future. They make us laugh and cry, and think, and they try and make us empathise.

If you could have dinner with any three people (past and present), who would you pick and why?

William Shakespeare—partly because I am related to him somewhere down the track (my middle name is Shakespeare), but mostly because I want to know what he was thinking when he wrote his plays and what he wanted from his audiences. I wonder what he thinks of how we have dissected, discussed and debated his words for 400 years! I’d also love to have dinner with Marilyn Monroe—because I don't believe she was ever a dumb blonde, and Margaret Thatcher—because I'd like to meet the woman behind the Iron Lady mask (because I'm assuming it was a mask!).

Join us for Lit Live on the first Wednesday of every month!