Yellamundie: National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Playwriting Festival is a landmark writing event which will take place over two weeks from 27 January 2013. The Festival brings together one of the largest gatherings of Aboriginal directors, actors and playwrights ever to work together at one time in Sydney, and culminates in a series of free play readings open to the public at Carriageworks from 7 to 9 February 2013.
Yellamundie [Dharug word for storyteller] is a powerful celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander arts and culture. The Festival is about Aboriginal stories, as told by Aboriginal people. It provides a rare opportunity for Aboriginal writers to collaborate with their peers over an intensive two week period in a dynamic exchange of ideas. The end result will be a contemporary showcase of Aboriginal writing talents, as festival organisers unearth six hard-hitting new plays by writers from urban and regional areas across Australia.
Yellamundie is presented by Moogahlin Performing Arts, Carriageworks and the Sydney Festival. Yellamundie is an initiative of the National Indigenous Theatre Forum reflecting the longstanding history and rich legacy of nurturing Indigenous theatre. Plays selected for development include: Weight by Jada Alberts, Dust by Suzanne(Jub) Clerc, First Contact by Jane Harrison, Cuz by Billy McPherson, Crowbones and Carnivores by David Milroy and The Lighthouse by Sermsah Bin Saad. The scripts were selected following an extensive national call out in 2012. A national assessment committee drawn from the National Indigenous Theatre Forum selected the final six.
The Festival’s plays tell stories from both the city and the bush and provide a timely snapshot of life in contemporary Aboriginal Australia today. Common themes include the devastation caused to people and place by mining industries; the challenges of relationships between older and young Aboriginal Australians; suicide and its impact on family, community and spirituality; and tribal traditions within a contemporary Australian landscape.