National Theatre of Parramatta (NTofP) is pleased to announce Season 2018 comprising four world premieres with six Australian plays. The program focuses on identity, belonging and place – at their heart is an exploration of families, the humanity we all share and how we evolve and navigate the world around us.
Season 2018 includes a diversity of established creatives and those poised on the cusp of exciting careers. From the pen of acclaimed playwright Steve Rodgers, to the exciting emerging talents of Western Sydney artist Aanisa Vylet.
NTofP Executive Producer Joanne Kee said, “Our local stories have a global resonance, they speak of immigration and generations of families, stolen identities and strength from adversity, our history and future, resilience and hope. Along the way, you can laugh and cry and be transported to other worlds.”
In 2018 NTofP presents the productions Flight Paths, Stolen, double bill The Girl and The Woman, (Generation 3) Sleeplessness and Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam.
In its third year, NTofP will have brought ten world premieres to the stage. Having only burst onto the Australian theatre scene in 2016, this includes commissioned plays The Incredible Here and Now and The Red Tree, not to mention their commitment to an open-door policy for Western Sydney artists which has led to mainstage productions of Smurf in Wanderland in 2017 and in 2018 The Girl and The Woman.
NTofP is proud to be a part of Riverside Theatres and a member of the vibrant artistic community in Parramatta, aiming to be a leader in inclusiveness and openness. Committed to capacity building in the region, NTofP offers a wide range of programs from playwriting, industry events, professional development, showcasing opportunities, education and behind the scenes events.
NATIONAL THEATRE OF PARRAMATTA’S SEASON 2018:
FLIGHT PATHS – 15th to 24th March
Director: Anthea Williams
Playwright: Julian Larnach
Flight Paths is a coming-of-age story of two young women exploring Australia’s place in the world, the privilege of mobility and the consequences of charity.
Luisa arrives in London to study at one of the world’s most prestigious universities. At the other end of the world, Emily arrives in Nairobi to volunteer in the world’s largest slum. Spanning a week in their lives, Flight Paths follows Luisa as she discovers the privilege her university is built on, and Emily as she uncovers the corruption that runs through the heart of her organisation. All the while their fates become increasingly entwined with a man who has fallen from the sky.
Playwright Julian Larnach said, “When I began writing Flight Paths I set about putting worlds on stage that I hadn’t been seeing, populating them with young characters that I hadn’t been hearing in order to prompt discussions about the world that we haven’t been having. I am excited to see this new work about Australia’s place in the global community come alive with one of the country’s newest and boldest theatre companies.“
STOLEN – 29th May to 1st June
Director: Vicki Van Hout
Playwright: Jane Harrison
Insightful and poignant, Stolen tells the stories of five individuals from the stolen generations. From its original staging 20 years ago, director Vicki Van Hout brings a fresh interpretation to this tender and moving play which revisits Jane Harrison’s important historical text in the context of Australia today.
Reflecting the pain, poignancy and sheer desperation of ‘the lost children’, Stolen follows the children’s struggle to make sense of a world where they have been told to forget their families, their homes and their culture. Segregated from their community, the children begin their journey ‘home’ after their release.
Director Vicki Van Hout said, “These works do more than entertain, they are a symbol, a magnifying glass trained on society, using our past foibles as a tool for the way to move forward.”
This is a remount from NTofP’s 2016 season, returning due to strong demand and now forging new paths for NTofP with their first regional tour to Orange, Griffith, Cessnock, Tamworth and Byron Bay and back to Darling Harbour.
THE WOMAN – 28th June to 8th July
Director: Dino Dimitriades
Playwright and Actor: Aanisa Vylet
NTofP presents The Girl and The Woman – two plays, one from the daughter’s perspective, The Girl and the other about her mother, The Woman.
The Girl trips over her sexuality and lands on her mother’s traditions. Her body is changing. It’s time to choose. Semi-autobiographical and 12 years in the making, The Girl and The Woman are the stories of two generations of Australian Arab-Muslim women who dare to put it all on the table.
(GENERATION 3) SLEEPLESSNESS – 13th to 22nd September
Devisors: Sean Bacon and Chris Ryan
Director: Chris Ryan
Playwright, Co devisor, and Actor: Karen Therese
Part mystery, part documentary, part forensic investigation, (Generation 3) Sleeplessness maps a remarkable Australian story. This is a story about women. The discovery of official documents led to an investigation to uncover an unimaginable nightmare revealing the impact of migration and institutionalisation on families. It explores a fractured matrilineal history that spans time and place, interrogating the experiences of three generations of women from 1920s Budapest to Western Sydney today.
This solo show is performed by artist Karen Therese who grew up in Western Sydney and has been on a 15-year odyssey to create this work. She is very proud to be premiering with National Theatre of Parramatta to her home audience of Western Sydney.
JESUS WANTS ME FOR A SUNBEAM – 18th to 27th October
Director: Darren Yap
Playwright: Steve Rodgers, original novel by Peter Goldsworthy
Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam is an evocative, haunting and moving tale about loss and familial relationships.
A husband and wife, parents and children, brother and sister. It explores the nature of an ideal family, and their quest to define their lives through each other, isolating themselves from the outside world. The play is rumination on a kind of suffocating love.
This play was the inaugural winner of the Lysicrates Award run by Griffin Theatre and is the first production of a Lysicrates winner.
Director Darren Yap said, “I was deeply disturbed and enthralled when I read Steve Rodger’s Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam. It’s a real thriller. Rick and Linda Pollard have to make a life and death decisions to protect their little girl Emma from her fear of dying from leukemia. How far would a parent go to protect their dying child? The themes of Sunbeam are relevant for any Australian family who would do anything for their child. I am honoured to collaborate with the NTofP who will give Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam its world premiere.”