Listen: David Williams in Conversation with Stephen O’Doherty
Image by Heidrun Lohr
‘Quiet Faith’ is an Australian play that offers a heartfelt portrait of the different ways that faith can underpin civic life. The 65-minute work is based on hours of interviews with 20 Christian Australians. The sound design incorporates popular hymns and the audience is seated amongst the performers. This creats an immersive experience that feels as conversational as it does theatrical.
Written and directed by award-winning documentary theatre maker, David Williams, the play dates back to 2013 in the midst of debates about, among other things, asylum seekers. ‘Quiet Faith’ is born out of Williams concern – indeed alarm – at some of the statements from conservative Christian political figures in the public debate.
All his theatre productions have been about political and social issues. Williams crafts the final production from interviews he does with people relevant to the issue he is exploring. Public documents and other research make his work topical and relatable. His previous works include ‘Grace Under Pressure’ which looked at the workplace cultures in hospitals and ‘Smurf in Wanderland’, based on conversations with football fans across Sydney.
Perspectives of everyday Christian faith explored
Williams, who also performs in ‘Quiet Faith’ is excited about the production, “Audiences will have complex and different responses to the work, depending on their own relationship with religious institutions.”
David’s past theatre works have received Helpmann, Green Room and Drovers awards. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of New South Wales and an Honours degree in Theatre from the University of Western Sydney (Nepean). Currently David is an Honorary Associate at the Department of Performance Studies, University of Sydney. He is also a Director of the production company Alternative Facts Pty Ltd.
‘Quiet Faith’ is a surprising and deeply personal journey into the world of the quietly, progressively faithful. It invites audiences to experience the perspectives of everyday Christian Australians on religion, belonging, loyalties and community. ‘Quiet Faith’ unpacks the disconnect between the conservatism of groups outspoken on behalf of Christians, and the everyday Christians whose faith is a motivator for social justice. The tension between the conservative and progressive voices within Christianity is handled thouthfully.
Quiet Faith is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
Images by Heidrun Lohr