Outloud warmly invites you to a series of intimate performances and conversations, ABOUT US. Running on select Thursday & Friday evenings throughout April, ABOUT US is 10 online readings of incredible stories, plays and books co-curated and created by the many cultural communities in Western Sydney.
Join us and the artists for a rehearsed reading and facilitated conversation afterwards, to share your own stories, thoughts and ideas around what these texts say about who we are, what we care about, how COVID has affected these communities here and abroad, and how we can support each other from here on.
Book your tickets
ABOUT US performances are free. You can register your virtual seat for as many performances as you like. See each performance overview to book your seat for the corresponding show.
See our media kit.
Directed by James Hartley
28th of April / 7-9pm
image description: A person in 3/4 profile has a crown of lit candles that has dripped down over their eyes and cheeks, obscuring their face.
Until that damned wooden horse, the walls of Troy held strong for 10 years of war. In this reimagining of the infamous Greek myth, The Trojan Women finds new resonance in a Persian setting. For this performance, the creative team and cast will be reading an edited selection of the text followed by a moderated discussion. Recommended for 15 years and over. Content trigger warning: violence against women, suicidality, infanticide, war.
The Trojan Women is based on Euripides masterpiece.
Translated by Gholam Reza Shahbazi.
Retold by Dena Razaghi.
Performed in Farsi with English subtitles.
DIRECTOR : James Hartley
FACILITATOR : Shayan Askari
Written & directed by Emele Ugavule
6th of May / 7-9pm
Photo Credit: Teniola Komolafe
image description: A person, standing, is looking up in a dark room with patterned reflections on the ceiling. They are
surrounded by an audience. They have leaves wrapped around their wrist and are wearing a white singlet and patterned skirt.
Kalaga Atu is a journey across Oceania that transcends time, space and place, calling ancestral wisdom into the lives of five siblings. Each sibling questions their relationship to the bodies they inhabit, the spirits who guide them, and the sand, soil and salt that they love.
Kalaga Atu, meaning ‘to call’ in the Tokelauan language, weaves poetic text and music in a warm performance experience. Written and directed by Tokelauan Fijian storyteller Emele Ugavule, the original performance included lighting design by Amber Silk and choreography by Sāmoan dance artist Xavier Breed, calling upon kinship ties between the people of the Great Ocean.
Kalaga Atu was commissioned by the Art Gallery of NSW.
DIRECTOR : Emele Ugavule
FACILITATOR : Xavier Breed
Te Kaiga WA Akoga Tokelau
THE ENLIGHTENMENT OF THE SIDDHARTHA GAUTAMA BUDDHA, AND THE ENCOUNTER WITH THE MONKEY KING – GREAT SAGE, EQUAL OF HEAVEN
Written and directed by Joe Lui
15th of April / 7-9pm
Launching with an adaptation of the Monkey King mythology, Enlightenment is the story of The Monkey King and The Buddha… reimagined as two young women in Australia. The most important human being ever born, and the most powerful creature ever to exist. Somewhere in our city, they’re about to hook up. Recommended for ages 16+.
ABOUT THE WORK – Joe says:
“Enlightenment is one of the early chapters of the one of the Four Great Works of Chinese Literature – The Journey to the West. It is a retelling of the story of the Monkey King (of monkey magic fame) breaking into heaven to steal the peaches of immortality for his monkey kin. In the story he causes havoc in heaven and the Buddha Himself has to be summoned to punish him. This play is a contemporary and queer reading of this story. It deals with questions of the police state, about how privilege and systemic oppression causes behavior that is incredibly easy to demonize, and how sometimes love just ain’t enough. I think it opens conversations about the state of people of colour trying to make their way inside of the colonial society that is Australia. About what it is to assimilate and behave, and what it costs us. I also think it is an irreverent, sexy and possibly blasphemous reading of a Chinese cultural property adapted by someone who grew up being steeped in Chinese culture. It is time that we re-appropriate the ancient stories of our cultures toward our modern concerns, instead of preserving them as a-political niceties. I think Enlightenment opens a good conversation about how and why we can or should reimagine these tales.“
CONTENT NOTES: Contains themes of State Violence. There is at one point a threat of sexual violence made. Contains sexual references and some misogynistic language. These will be contextualised as part of the community discussion afterwards. Recommended for ages 16+.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
WRITER, DIRECTOR and FACILITATOR: Joe Paradise Lui (he/him/y’all) (@joeparadiselui) is a submerging -nay, drowning- artist and undisputed winner of the 2013 Spirit of the Fringe award. He has won no awards since. Joe Lui is a founding member of Renegade Productions. Within its aegis he creates experimental theatre and performance works. Joe Lui is also a freelance director, writer, and a sound and lighting designer. His most recent professional directing work was Unsung Heroes, with Black Swan State Theatre Company. His most recent independent directing work was Beginning at the End (of Capitalism), presented at the Blue Room Theatre. His most recent design work was The Sum of Us by Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company as part of Perth Festival.
Sebastian Critti Shnaars (he/him) as Handsome Brad
Sean Gustaviano (he/him) as Asshole Steve
Olivia Hendrey (they/them) as Tripitaka
Lucy Wong (she/her) as Sid
Donita Cruz (she/her) as Sage