Tagged: refugee

Production Cast Meeting (1): ‘Refugee’

Director: Melissa Fergusson

Refugee: Rebecca Parr

Psych Patient: Gaby Turner

Counsellor: Rob Ipsen

Dealer: Baz Te Hira

Foreigner: John Blackman

John: Rhys Collier


Lifewise Big Sleep Out 2014: Why Am I Sleeping Rough?

Rebecca (Married Woman, Refugee) from ‘Whore’ is sleeping rough for the first time. She considers herself a bit of a nomad, travelling from country to country, trying to find a place called “home”. Find out why she is going to be a ‘rough sleeper’ on 3 July.

I’m doing the ‘Big Sleep Out’ because it’s important to see and experience what I don’t know. I have no idea how difficult it is for people to deal with this every (single) day. I will hopefully get the smallest taste of what it’s like, for people who do this every night. In the cold, in the wet, when it’s unsafe and you’re terrified about who might want a piece of you. By sleeping rough, I get to experience some part of how that (makes me) feels. That’s what I love about life – being able to relate to and understand people, including homeless people.

Rebecca Plays A Sex Worker


After working with Melissa on “pURe” as “Anais” in 2012 , I jumped at the chance to work with Melissa again. “pURe” was an incredible experience. I knew “Whore” would be the same.

Playing a Ukrainian refugee and a married woman ‘sex worker’ presents many challenges, all of which I am throwing myself into, with gusto. I actually started research for this back in 2011, when I arrived in NZ not knowing that prostitution is legal here. I was fascinated, so read forums and policies surrounding the issue. Fast forward two years later and (actually now) cast as two sex workers, I have investigated further! Research for my Ukrainian character has sent me in the direction of a Ukrainian accent coach, in order to fully understand where my character is coming from culturally, historically and socially. My accent needs to be spoken with truth and authenticity from within. “Married Woman” is proving equally challenging (as the life she leads is incredibly different from my own); as I haven’t dealt with violence, discrimination or psychological problems that she experiences daily. I have been reading and chatting to a lot of people (who are victims) about violence, drugs and discrimination and the effect it has on their lives. I hope to expose their reality – with truth. Protected by the ‘Prostitution Reform Act 2003’, yet unprotected on the street. I have realised that ‘sex work is work’.