The Immigrants' Theatre Project, Australian Aboriginal Theatre Initiative and Playbox Theatre of Melbourne, Australia present the American premiere of five new works written by Australian Aboriginal playwrights. The events are being hosted by The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (One Bowling Green), American Indian Community House (708 Broadway, 8th floor), New Dramatists (424 W. 44th Street), The New Group Theatre (410 W. 42nd Street), the Drama Bookshop (250 W. 40th St) and the United Nations.
The goal of this series is to expose mainstream and academic theatre audiences to Aboriginal culture and to create an ongoing artistic and international exchange between indigenous Australian and American theatre artists. All readings will have a post-show discussion with Native American and Aboriginal experts, the playwright, Australian actor, and director on the issues raised by the play.
The scheduled events are:
Thursday, March 11, 2004 6:30pm
Global Voices: A Cultural Exchange
Venue: Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.
Native North American and Australian Aboriginal playwrights come together with academics to discuss issues raised by the plays: forced removal, denial of land claims, and separation of families. The panel will include Jadah Milroy (Palku), playwright from Australia, Bryan Andy (Yorta Yorta), actor from Australia, Russell Tall Chief (Osage), Cochise Anderson (Chichasaw/Choctaw), John Scott (Iningai), and Dr. Wendy Darby. Moderator: Karen Oughtred. This event is sponsored by the New York Council for the Humanities.
Wednesday, March 17 at 7:30pm
Crowfire written by Jadah Milroy (Palku) with Bryan Andy (Yorta Yorta) - directed by Kaipo Schwab (Native Hawaiian descent) Venue: American Indian Community House, (708 Broadway, 8th floor). Crowfire is about an indigenous social worker and how the urban environment has played havoc with culture and identity.
Tuesday, March 30 at 3:00pm
Yanagai! Yanagai! Written by Andrea James (Yorta Yorta) with Louise Bennett (Yorta Yorta) - directed by Marcy Arlin. Venue: New Dramatists, (424 West 44th Street). Yanagai! Yanagai! Through the Dreaming portrays the Yorta Yorta's struggle for land rights for their people.
Tuesday, April 20 at 7:30pm
Box The Pony, by Scott Rankin & Leah Purcell (Goa-Gunggari-Wakka Wakka)
Venue: New Group Theatre, (410 West 42nd Street). Leah Purcell's critically acclaimed one-woman show about growing up in a champion boxing family on the outskirts of an Aboriginal Mission. Leah's independent film, Black Chicks Talking, had its 2002 world premiere at Robert De Niro's Tribeca Film Festival.
Tuesday, May 4 at 7:30pm
Stolen written by Jane Harrison (Muruwari) with Kylie Belling (Yorta Yorta) - directed by Karen Oughtred. Venue: Drama Bookshop (250 West 40th Street) Stolen is a portrayal of Aboriginal children forcibly removed from their families by the government and raised in a repressive children's home.
Tuesday, May 18 at 1:00pm
Conversations with the Dead written by Richard Frankland (Gunditjmara) with Aaron Pederson (Aboriginal) - directed by Muriel Miguel (Kuna/Rappahannock). Venue: The United Nations. This play was written as a response to an investigation of deaths in custody of indigenous prisoners in the Australian penal system, which involved Mr. Frankland. This reading is part of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues taking place May 10th through the 21st, 2004.