The rarely seen world of Northern Territory teenagers will be explored in the eye-opening, Sugarland. This exceptional new play from Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) will make you laugh, cry and stay with you long after you leave the theatre.
Over a two-year period, ATYP and playwrights Rachael Coopes and Wayne Blair (The Sapphires, Redfern Now, Gods of Wheat Street) undertook a series of residencies in Katherine, Northern Territory. They wanted to create a story that would give audiences, particularly young people, an understanding of what life is like growing up in one of Australia’s remotest regions.
Following the lives of five teenagers and their local youth worker, Sugarland explores a hidden world of big responsibilities and simple pleasures, of complex issues and elusive solutions and gives insight into lives rarely seen on the Australian stage.
The story documents the unlikely friendship between Nina and Erica. Nina’s good at school but that’s not important – she needs a house to live in and she needs it soon. She’s living at her Auntie’s so she can go to school in town, but it’s not working out. Erica’s dad is in the RAAF so her life is transplanted every few years. She moves so often she’s stopped even trying to fit in. The only thing the girls have in common is the music they listen to. But sometimes that’s enough.
Co-directed by ATYP artistic director Fraser Corfield (M.Rock, Spur of the Moment) and David Page (Bangarra Dance Theatre Artistic Associate), Sugarland will shock, provoke and inspire. ATYP has been bridging the divide between young people and professional theatre practice since 1963. It is Australia’s oldest and largest youth theatre company.
“…you get a sense of young people forging a family for themselves that transcends race and age and circumstance…” – Time Out Sydney
Writers: Rachael Coopes with Wayne Blair Directors: Fraser Corfield & David Page Featuring: Narek Arman, Eliza Logan, Xanthe Paige, Calen Tassone, Jonas Thomson, Dubs Yunupingu Set Designer: Jacob Nash Lighting Re-Design: Karen Norris Original Lighting Design: Juz McGuire Sound Designer: Guy Webster Costume Designer: Ruby Langton-Batty
Sugarland will play Arts Centre Melbourne: 19 – 21 May 206, before playing at selected regional venues in Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. For more information, visit: www.atyp.com.au for details.
Image: Dubs Yunupingu in Sugarland – photo by John Tsaivis