As you read this issue of NORPA quarterly, I hope it challenges your perceptions. I hope it makes you feel that we are never really far away from each other. That distance, skin colour, immigrant status, abilities, dreams, fears - all the methods we use to describe our differences - dissolve with the going down of the house lights. I hope you hear in the articles the diversity and splendour of regional voices and through them the ways we shape and contribute to the national narrative. Dr Romaine Moreton discusses telling Indigenous stories through a “sovereign lens”; Julian Louis encourages us to look beyond the limits of regional stereotypes; and you’re invited to step into our Dreamland and Journey to an Unnamed World.
As we approach the festive season, I wish you a safe and wonderful holiday. Please read on…

Patrick Healey
General Manager

Beyond The Limits
by Julian Louis
presented at Artlands Dubbo 2016.

‘Regional’ does not denote a vast void that is waiting to be filled. It is a bountiful and complex source of inspiration, and we look for stories that are beautiful and tough, surprising and dark, mysterious and dangerous.

Read Julian's full speech.
Oligarchy of Privilege
by Yaron Liftschitz
presented at Currency House Creativity and Business Breakfast.

"We were too circus for the legitimate dance and theatre crowd, too posh for the circus aficionados, too European for Australia, too Australian for Europe. For my first six years we re-wrote the limits of just how bad a review could be..."

Read Yaron's full speech.

Dr Romaine Moreton is the writer of Djurra, a NORPA Generator work based on the Three Brothers Bundjalung creation story.

Romaine is Goenpul Jagara of Stradbroke Island and Bundjulung of northern New South Wales. An internationally recognised writer of poetry, prose and film, she has published over 100 poems, prose and short stories and three anthologies of her poetry.

She has written and directed two short films and is currently working on three feature films. In 2012 Romaine was one of three Australians commissioned by the prestigious art festival dOCUMENTA(13) to contribute to their Notebooks Series. Romaine will complete her appointment as Research Fellow/ Filmmaker-in-Residence in the School of Media, Film and Journalism at Monash University this year. 

What originally inspired this production and what does Djurra translate to mean?
Djurra translates to mean Lore in Bundjalung language of the Lismore region. Roy Gordon gave director Kirk Page, and Associate Producer Mitchell King and myself a presentation on the Three Brothers story...
Our latest site-specific work Dreamland has just completed a sell-out three week season and has been hailed by critics and patrons alike as one of NORPA’s best works, attracting new audiences to original theatre created in regional Australia.
Directed and devised by NORPA's Artistic Director Julian Louis with writer and long time collaborator Janis Balodis along with the multi skilled cast, Dreamland was developed in association with Arts Northern Rivers If These Halls Could Talk project. Dreamland combines physical theatre, dance, live music and drama to tell the story of a small country hall and the communities who have gathered there since it was built in 1906. Performed onsite at the Eureka Hall in the Byron Bay hinterland, Dreamland was an intimate, immersive event seating less than one hundred people each performance. 

Learn more ]
[ Photo gallery ]
Get an insight into 'Journey into an Unnamed World'
Journey to an Unnamed World is an immersive theatre work NORPA developed in association with the Catholic Schools Office, Lismore Diocese. Primary-aged children experience a new way of interacting with theatre in a multi-sensory, site-specific work, designed to develop imagination, literacy, self-identity and their notions of what theatre can be.

Inspired by the work of Shaun Tan and Punchdrunk, Journey to an Unnamed World was shared with more than 500 students from across the Northern Rivers during Book Week 2016. The entire bottom floor of Lismore City Hall became a theatrical adventure for children, and they became part of the performance.

The creative team met recently to evolve the work with plans to remount Journey to an Unnamed World for touring.

“Journey to an Unnamed World brings the talents of great teaching and great performing arts together. We want to inspire children through an interaction that leaves a lasting impression and helps to build their love of literature into secondary education.

Paul Thornton, Assistant Director Education Services,
Catholic Schools Office, Diocese of Lismore.

[ Learn more ]
[ Photo gallery ]

Images | Kate Holmes
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