Polyglot Spot – edition #13

Curious creative community during COVID-19

A 2018 photo of Polyglot admin staff leaping for joy out the front of the company's former headquarters in South Yarra.

Wednesday 14 October 2020

This week, we venture behind the desk with two of our admin staff. Producer Rainbow Sweeny introduces herself in Meet Polyglot, and Development Coordinator Olivia Satchell reflects on the blossoming of her daily rituals during lockdown. As the weather warms, we teeter on the edge of restrictions easing and a different kind of end-of-year beckons. It’s an interesting moment for Melbournians to pause and consider the year that has been, and what the next two and a half months might offer. How are you feeling? Send your thoughts through to communications@polyglot.org.au for possible inclusion in a future Polyglot Spot edition.


Meet Polyglot

Meet the team that powers Polyglot. CEOS, creatives, production, admin, board. We work together to keep the colourful cogs turning!

Name: Rainbow Sweeny
Title: Producer
Years with Polyglot: 3.5 years full time and 4 years as a freelancer prior to that.

5 Polyglot personnel and 2 Acchi Cocchi personnel stand smiling in front of the Minami Sanriku train station. They are wearing winter clothing, holding bags, and there is a large, bright 'Polyglot pink' suitcase in front of them.

What is the ‘elevator pitch’ description of your role at Polyglot?
My role is pretty broad and includes overseeing the presentation and touring of our extensive repertoire, management of new works through the many stages of development, working with schools to deliver our workshop program and so on. I’m fortunate to work with amazing performers, production personnel, educators, presenters and other stakeholders. It’s a really varied role.

What is something about being a Polyglot staff member that would surprise someone who doesn’t work in the arts?
I think people are surprised to hear that on any given day I could be working on delivering a complex international tour, a large-scale play space installation and a morning of workshops for a local primary school. It’s that variation in scale that people find surprising.  

What part of your work with Polyglot do you most look forward to?
I love working on the development of new Polyglot works. Each of Polyglot’s productions, workshops and community collaborations are so unique. Each new development brings with it a fresh combination of creative minds and a new fresh set of creative challenges!

What and where did you study?
Bachelor of Dramatic Art – Theatre Production at the Victorian College of the Arts.

What are you missing about the Polyglot office?
There are so many things that I miss about our beautiful office and working with my colleagues face to face. Making theatre is such a collaborative undertaking and I think we’re all missing being in the same room as one another. 

On a regular workday I’m often the first person to arrive at the office and am regularly treated to early morning animal interactions. Sometimes I arrive to find peacocks have been roosting on our staircase and sometimes the resident bluetongue lizard is basking in the morning sun. Fortunately, I am yet to be surprised by one of the snakes that are seen about the Convent from time to time.

I also miss my cycling commute. It’s the daily exercise (30 minutes each way) that I don’t even have to think about. As we approach our thirtieth week of working from home, my body is feeling each and every one of the 3000km I have missed!


Working with restrictions

Achieving and retaining clarity and focus while working from home 

A birds' eye photo of pink and orange flowers in a vase on a wooden table.

Olivia Satchell, Development Coordinator

There have been many small rituals that I’ve developed over the last seven months of working from home. Always going for a walk each morning, most recently to inspect the tidal wave of spring as it sweeps through our neighbourhood. Breaking the day up with disco aerobics (I’m ashamed to say that I have not yet invested in a leotard, but it’s on my “to do” list). Coffee, of course. The most important of these small acts is having fresh flowers in the house. My parents, who I haven’t seen since Christmas, almost live in their garden at our family home and so it feels like the closest way I can conjure them down here in St Kilda. I think as my world has gotten smaller (at least in the physical sense), small things have grown in stature, making a really tangible difference in a screen-filled day.


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