ABOUT THE SHOW
From Sunshine Super Girl playwright Andrea James comes a new MTC NEXT STAGE Commission that delves deep into one of the first urban legends of colonial Australia. In a special development reading, audiences will be offered a unique opportunity to hear an exciting new Australian work in progress while gaining rare insight into a vital side of the playwriting process.
In 1840, a settler swore he found a bible printed in Edinburgh, a blue silk purse and a broken looking-glass in the remains of a Gunaikurnai camp near Ninety Mile Beach. But did he also really see the face of a 'pale woman' in a possum-skin cloak? Was there really a ‘white woman’ in Gunaikurnai country or were these unverified stories a cover for other activities – these are the questions Jacinta is trying to answer when she holes herself up in a country motel to put the finishing touches on her thesis. But can she solve a 150-year-old mystery in four days? And get justice for her people?
The Black Woman of Gippsland explores colonial Victorian ‘history’ through a vital First Nations’ lens. This presentation of James’s first draft will showcase a work of powerful personal importance for an acclaimed playwright, and offers audiences the opportunity to be part of the continuing development process – Saturday’s reading may even differ from the first as Andrea James takes on insights and observations from the initial public presentation to make subsequent textual adjustments.
The Black Woman of Gippsland was commissioned through MTC’s NEXT STAGE Writers’ Program with the support of our Playwrights Giving Circle Donors, The Ian Potter Foundation, Naomi Milgrom Foundation, The Myer Foundation, Malcolm Robertson Foundation and The University of Melbourne.
Cast & Creative
Welcome to NEXT STAGE 2020
While COVID has certainly put a spoke in the wheel of 2020, MTC’s NEXT STAGE Writers’ Program has been continuing apace behind the scenes.
It’s been an especially dramatic year for Andrea James, with the COVID-dictated cancellation of her MTC mainstage debut, and the awarding of a NEXT STAGE commission for her new play inspired by one of colonial Australia's first urban myths.
In Conversation with Andrea James
As the colder weather creeps up, there’s no better time to dream of summer. So settle in with our audio recording of director and playwright Andrea James, discussing her new play Sunshine Super Girl, ahead of its summer season at Southbank Theatre.