Moogahlin Performing Arts‘ biennial celebration of local and international First Nations playwriting, the Yellamundie National First Peoples Playwriting Festival returns later this month. In partnership with Sydney Festival and presented at Carriageworks the festival provides a platform for playwrights, either emerging or established, from all across Australia.
The festival has since its inception in 2013 developed something of a track record in successfully supporting playwrights. In the intervening four years the festival has developed twelve scripts from playwrights of all levels of experience from regional, remote and urban Australia. In those four years, sixteen scripts have received public readings, seven of which were chosen for further development, and three of those have gone on to be produced professionally. Previous festivals have presented early readings of Kylie Coolwell’s Battle of Waterloo (staged by Sydney Theatre Company in 2015) and The Season by Nathan Maynard – which will premiere this year at the Sydney Opera House as part of the 2017 Sydney Festival.
The 2017 program includes the first full-length play from Indigenous rights activist and poet Ken Canning and the debut play from choreographer and dancer Henrietta Baird. In 2017 the festival will for the first time expand to include international collaboration, exchange and script readings with other First Peoples from Aotearoa (New Zealand) and Turtle Island (Canada). As part of this cross-cultural collaboration the festival will feature plays from Cliff Cardinal (CAN) and Hone Kouka (NZ).
Festival Artistic Director, Fred Copperwaite and Producer, Lily Shearer, said “We are very excited to be presenting Yellamundie Festival again in 2017. This year will see the largest festival program to date, with six new works, panel talks, and for the first time including international artists and work from Turtle Island and Aotearoa.”
Yellamundie National First Peoples Playwriting Festival takes place at Bay 20, Carriageworks from January 27th – 29th. Tickets are available now. For more information and for a full list of participating playwrights visit HERE
Header Image: Rarriwuy Hick, photographed by Zan Wimberley