The Line is a new international, collaborative, cross-disciplinary work set against the 19C Frontier Wars in Tasmania. It imagines a life-changing encounter between a palawa (Tasmanian Aboriginal) woman, Muka, and a pregnant escaped Irish convict, Maeve, who meet by chance in the bush as both flee from the armed bands pursuing them. Using physical theatre, puppetry, and multi-media, The Line explores the devastation wrought by colonisers on both the palawa and the Irish, including massacres, the eradication of all human rights, and the suppression of culture and language. It celebrates the women’s resilience, their shared humanity, and the way their cultures provide them tools for survival: stories, rituals, spirituality, relationship to nature. The expression of that defiant survival into the present day forms the core of The Line. Coordinated by Black Hole Theatre and Dowtcha Puppets (Ireland), the work is being developed as a collaboration between First Nations, Irish and non-Indigenous artists: co-directors Nancy Black (BHT) and Eva Grace Mullaley, co-writers Nathan Maynard and Clare Murphy, designer Cliff Dolliver (Dowtcha Puppets), video artist Troy Melville, actresses Ebony McGuire and Noelle O’Regan (Ireland), music and sound David Franzke, Dewayne Everettsmith, and Rory O’Brien (Ireland), puppet design Rod Primrose, puppeteer and production assistant Denni Proctor.
We have had two exciting creative developments – formulating script, visual, and performative ideas, and look forward to a third in 2019. We are planning to premiere in 2020. Enjoy the images and the video – and we’ll keep you tuned to further developments!
The project has been supported by BHT, Dowtcha Puppets, Creative Victoria, the Arts Council of England, Arts Tasmania, the Australian Cultural Fund, and the Cork City Council.