Sister Spotlight: Naomi Price
Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves co-creator and director, Naomi Price, gives the inside scoop on the origins of our Sister Act homage, the casting of our divine divas and her hopes for a greener future.
Tell us about your earliest memory of the Sister Act films:
My brothers and I had both films on VHS and we practically wore the tapes out watching them so much. We would take it in turns to be different characters (I was usually Whoopi, and my little brother was usually Kathy Najimy!) and we would act out all the musical numbers while standing on the couch.
2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the original Sister Act film. In your opinion, what makes the franchise so timeless?
We first meet Delores Van Cartier (one of the best character names of all time!) after she witnesses a horrific crime and is hidden for her own safety amongst a group of people who she seemingly has nothing in common with. The movies aren’t about God or religion; they are about the power of sisterhood, acceptance and inclusion. I think these themes still resonate today, perhaps even stronger than ever.
2021 saw your Little Red directorial debut with Your Song – what’s it like to be in the director’s chair rather than centre stage?
It’s a transition I wish I had made years ago! While I still love performing, there is something deeply satisfying about helping craft the storytelling from the audience’s perspective. We’ve always tried to make work with the audience experience at the forefront of our minds, and sitting amongst them watching the show really helps you to tune into how people experience and receive artistic expression. I love hearing murmurs around me, of delight or sorrow; I think it’s made me a more intuitive performer as a result.
Tell us about our four leading ladies – why these four particular Sisters?
Where to begin?! We have assembled four absolute powerhouse vocalists – all superstars in their own right – and their group sound is phenomenal. They complement each other vocally, but also in terms of their personalities and onstage personas. Prinnie is our diva queen; she’s feisty and driven, and gives me Big Whoopi Energy. Alisha is fresh-faced and wide-eyed; she’s all about the music. Angela is grounded and experienced, but with a vulnerability to her regal strength. Irena is our goofy golden girl, with Hollywood magnetism. I couldn’t be more excited about this combination of women onstage together and the different life experiences and stories they will share with our audiences.
Pictured L-R: Irena Lysiuk, Prinnie Stevens, Angela Fabian & Alisha Todd. Image by Larry Lim.
What does ‘Sisterhood’ mean to you?
To me, sisterhood is not about gender or biology. It’s about camaraderie and knowing someone has your back no matter what. It’s about finding a group of people you can be vulnerable with and knowing they will support you in good times and in bad. And it’s absolutely about finding people you can belly laugh with, until the tears roll down your cheeks!
Who’s a ‘Sister’ within your own life who’s had a profound impact?
When I toured with a big musical, I lived with my colleague and friend Stefanie Caccamo for five months in Melbourne. I was away from my family and my home, and I only had Stef and my little dog Lola to ground me during the gruelling show schedule and bitter winter weather. Stef felt instantly like ‘home’ to me; we just felt completely comfortable to watch something together, or cook delicious food, or just do our own thing. We were there through sickness and tears, and several brutal hangovers (mostly mine!). Even today, Stef will always message me to say she’s proud of me or just to check in and see how I’m going. She’s probably one of my biggest cheerleaders, which is great because I’m probably her biggest fan.
In ‘The Gospel According to Naomi’, what would be your message?
Look after the planet and do whatever small things you can to protect and preserve this amazing natural environment we are lucky enough to share. Be kind and compassionate to others, and remember people behave certain ways because of them, not because of you. At the end of the day, we are all just ants hurtling through space and we probably only get to do it once, so burn the nice candles, buy the nice wine and take chances! You never want to look back with regret. Just bloody go for it!
What can audiences expect from Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves?
Sizzling hot vocals, a sensational setlist you will want to listen to on the drive home, unexpected stories and lots of humour, and a few surprises….! All with the same Little Red charm and exceptional musicianship our audiences have fallen in love with.
Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves premieres at Brisbane Powerhouse on 17 February. See here for information and tickets.