Tuggeranong Arts Centre is gearing up for a busy two-day program of workshops and performances with ILBIJERRI Theatre Company – Australia’s leading and longest running Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Theatre Company.
As part of a national tour, ILBIJERRI will be bringing their production Which Way Home to the Centre for two performances on Wednesday 18th July. Which Way Home was written by Balnaves Indigenous Playwrights award-winner Katie Beckett, and premiered at Belvoir as part of Sydney Festival in 2017.
Beckett describes the play as ‘an open love letter’ to her father, which she began writing after he suffered his fifth heart attack. ‘I had just had my baby and was a single parent and so was my dad,’ Beckett says. Scared she was going to lose the man who raised her, she recalls, ‘I just started writing memories as a way to deal with it.’
The play was developed as part of a two-year writer’s residency with ILBIJERRI, in which Beckett worked closely with director Rachael Maza and dramaturge Jane Bodie to develop the work from a series of vignettes to a full length play.
The play tells the story of Tash and her Dad, who are going home to country, where the sky is higher, and the world goes on forever. It’s a long way from the wide streets and big old houses of Tash’s childhood. Dad still thinks he’s the King of cool, but he’s an old fella now. It’s time for Tash to take him home.
Alongside the production, ILBIJERRI and Tuggeranong Arts Centre are offering a series of community workshops on Tuesday 17thJuly facilitated by Beckett, Maza and actor Kamahi Djordon King who plays Dad in Which Way Home.
Beckett’s ‘Devising Theatre’ workshop is designed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander young people aged 7+ and their families. The workshop will use drama games, performance and writing activities to explore ways you can use your own stories to devise a piece of theatre.
In Maza’s ‘Everyone’s Got a Story’ workshop, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults will learn how to tell their story through theatre with one of Australia’s most successful directors. Maza is well known as a presenter on ABC TV’s Message Stick and for her performances in the film Radiance and the stage production of The Sapphires.
King is a Gurindji man who hails from Katherine in the Northern Territory. A multi-talented artist, King’s creative practice includes acting, singing and visual art. He will offer a special visual arts workshop using latex. The workshop is open to all members of the community and is particularly suited to emerging artists.
King will also be presenting a free performance at 7pm on Tuesday 17th as his female alter-ego Constantina Bush. Constantina has performed alongside some of Australia’s leading cabaret artists including Maude Davey and Finucane & Smith. ‘Constantina Bush visits the Capital’ promises to be a truly one of a kind cabaret performance!
Which Way Home is on in the Tuggeranong Arts Centre Theatre at 11am and 7pm on Wednesday 18th July. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 concession and can be booked at www.trybooking.com/TGFL
Further information about the ILBIJERRI workshops, including how to register can be found athttps://www.tuggeranongarts.com/events/ilbijerri-workshops/
LIMITED TICKETS are available for ‘Constantina Bush visits the Capital’ at 7pm on Tuesday 17th July. Bookings can be made via www.trybooking.com/VXTW