A chance for audiences to catch new and distinctive voices in Australian theatre, Yellamundie National First Peoples Playwriting Festival is the biennial showcase of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and international First Nations playwriting
Presented by Moogahlin Performing Arts and Carriageworks since 2013, and taking its name from the Darug word for storyteller, Yellamundie National First Peoples Playwriting Festival provides a platform for emerging and established playwrights from all over Australia.
With networking opportunities for artists, industry forums, and readings of six new national and two international plays, Carriageworks becomes a thriving artistic and cultural meeting place. Take the opportunity to be part of the discovery and championing of First Peoples playwrights.
Yellamundie Festival Opening Ceremony & Launch
Carriageworks Public Space
27 January at 5pm
Play Readings 1 & 2
27 January at 6.30pm
180 mins, with interval
Coconut Woman by Maryanne Sam
Nancy Bruce urgently needs cultural knowledge to clinch the deal of her career. Now she just has to convince the Ailan family, whom she’s never met, to help her.
Forty Nine Days a Week by Ken Canning
Mick is 22 years old and serving 10 years for armed robbery. Based on a true story, Forty-Nine Days a Week is a harrowing account of the psychological violence experienced by young Aboriginal men in our prison system.
International Play Reading 1: Turtle Island, Canada
28 January at 11am
Maria Gets A New Life by Cliff Cardinal: Canada
Maria Grace, single mom, is a wanted fugitive. When her twelve-year-old daughter is gang-raped; Maria murders one of the perpetrators and takes her two kids, Honey and Baby, on the run. As the authorities close in, Maria has one hour to give her children a weirdo’s guide to living in a f*cked up world. If she succeeds, this will be the day Maria Gets A New Life…
Talk 1 – Meet the Playwrights
28 January at 2pm
As in previous years, the Yellamundie Festival will feature the popular public forum, Meet The Playwrights.
Hosted by festival artistic director, Fred Copperwaite, Meet the Playwrights introduces the 2017 writers, Henrietta Baird, Ken Canning, Andrea Fernandez, Maryanne Sam, Glenn Shea and Megan Wilding to the public and provides the opportunity for them to discuss and reflect on their work and unique process.
This panel will be joined by our international guest playwrights, Hone Kouka from Tawata Productions, Aotearoa, (New Zealand) and Cliff Cardinal from Native Earth Performing Arts, Turtle Island, (Canada) to discuss how the Yellamundie Festival creates an experience of cultural exchange, the artistic and cultural similarities and differences between our storytelling processes and how the opportunity to work with Blackfulla artists influences the nature of their work.
Play Readings 3 & 4
28 January at 6.30pm
180 mins, with interval
The Weekend by Henrietta Baird
One woman’s hilariously funny and painfully sad journey into a world of lies, betrayal, disappointment, and drugs as she attempts to find her son’s father and keep her family together.
Some Secrets Should Be Kept Secret by Glenn Shea
Three children receive news that their mother has passed away and they have to return to the home they grew up in... how do you share a story that you know is true but no one believes you because of the lies that you have told?
International Play Reading 2: Aotearoa, New Zealand
29 January at 11am
Bless the Child by Hone Kouka
Worlds collide with the death of a child. Khan, a young Māori lawyer, must defend the most hated person in New Zealand - the mother of the child… raw and unsettling… a moral tale of our times.
Talk 2 – Blak Attack Debate
29 January at 2pm
Blak Attack will bring together some of the finest creative minds in First Peoples performing arts to debate hot topic issues in our industry: Who has the right to tell our stories? Should community pay for tickets to our events, i.e. should we put a price on culture? What makes a story ours - does it always have to be about First Peoples issues? A fast-paced, improvised, boxing match of the wits - teams will respond to topics on the spot and the more performative the argument the more points will be scored. Join us for a competition of red vs. blue, men vs. women, where the audience determines the winner.
Play Readings 5 & 6
29 January at 6.30pm
A Little Bit of Ash by Megan Wilding
A young Aboriginal woman comes to terms with the loss of her mother with helpful and not so helpful advice from her friends.
Bollywood Dreaming by Andrea Fernandez
Little India meets outback Australia. Inspired by Dirty Dancing and based on real life events, Bollywood Dreaming mixes Aboriginal sounds with Bollywood beats.
Moogahlin Performing Arts in association with Sydney Festival
Co-presented with Carriageworks
Photo: Zan Wimberley
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