Set against the British invasion of Tasmania in the mid 19th Century, THE LINE examines a relationship between Muka, a palawa (Tasmanian Aboriginal) woman, and a pregnant escaped Irish convict, Bríd. They meet in the Tasmanian wilderness, both fleeing persecution. Muka believes her mob have been massacred; Bríd, pregnant, is fleeing the rapist farmer to whom she’d been indentured. THE LINE examines why and how two women from seemingly opposed cultures might want to help one another. At various points their narrative is intersected by flash forwards to contemporary Australia, and a relationship between two urban women, one First Nations, the other of Irish descent. The production draws parallels between the Tasmanian and Irish experiences of colonisation, and asks what has changed for women generally, and for First Nations women in particular.
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 Nathan Maynard, writer: Nathan Maynard, designer: Cliff Dolliver (Dowtcha Puppets), video artist: Troy Melville, actresses: Carly Sheppard and Noelle O’Regan, music and sound: David Franzke, Dewayne Everettsmith, and Rory O’Brien, puppeteer, community liaison, and production assistant Denni Proctor, Irish consultant: Clare Murphy.
We have had two exciting creative developments – exploring script, visual, and performative ideas, and look forward to a third in 2020. We are planning to premiere in 2021. 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, the Cork City Council, and the Australia Council for the Arts.