Tuesday 26 November - Sunday 1 December 2013, 80 minutes
Presented by Arts House, ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, Belvoir and version 1.0
Beautiful One Day has been supported by the Australian Government through the Indigenous Culture Support program and the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body; the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria; the Balnaves Foundation; the Besen Family Foundation and the City of Melbourne through Arts House.
Devisor/Audiovisual Designer: Sean Bacon
Devisor/Performer: Kylie Doomadgee
Devisor/Performer: Paul Dwyer
Devisor/Director: Eamon Flack
Devisor/Performer: Rachael Maza
Devisor/Performer: Jane Phegan
Devisor/Performer: Harry Reuben
Devisor/Dramaturge: David Williams
Acting/Script Coach: Kylie Farmer
Original Set and Costume Designer:
Original Lighting Designer: Frank Mainoo
Sound Designer/Composer: Paul Prestipino
Stage Manager: Laura Smans
Technical Direction: Bluebottle
About Beautiful One Day
Palm Island, 2004. An Aboriginal man dies in police custody. Members of the Palm Island community make a direct challenge to police power and the police station is torched. Eight years later, the people of Palm Island continue to demand real justice, and all the while life continues.
ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, version 1.0 and Belvoir came together in 2011 over a shared sense of outrage at the injustices surrounding the death in custody. But, prompted by the Palm Island community, they have looked for a way to turn anger into real understanding and new possibilities. The result is Beautiful One Day – a theatrical documentary about the irrepressible life and times of Palm Island.
As raw as it is confronting, the show stars three Islanders in their first theatrical appearances. It combines documentary-style footage with conversation, reportage, stories and images, told in their own words. Beautiful One Day captures the horrible reality of an unnecessary death and yet the remarkable humanity, wisdom and determination to forgive of Palm Islanders.
An antidote to the relentlessly negative media coverage, this work interweaves the stories of Palm Island, the diktats of white Australia and the voices of the community to create a work that is honest, joyful and poignant.
Biographies – Devisors
Rachael Maza is one of the most recognisable faces in the Australian film, television and theatre industry. Her performance credits include the AFI-award-winning Radiance, Cosi and Lillian’s Story. She joined ILBIJERRI Theatre Company as Artistic Director in 2009. Since then she has directed Sisters of Gelam (2009), Jack Charles V the Crown (2010) and Foley (2011); and co-devised Beautiful One Day (2012/2013).
Paul Dwyer is a senior lecturer in the Department of Performance Studies at the University of Sydney, where he teaches courses on dramaturgy and the politics of performance. He has collaborated with version 1.0 on the making of documentary theatre productions including CMI (A Certain Maritime Incident) and The Bougainville Photoplay Project, which received a Green Room Award for Best Mise en Scène in Alternative/Hybrid Theatre.
Jane Phegan has worked extensively in theatre and radio since graduating from Theatre Nepean (University of Western Sydney). As company artist for version 1.0, she has devised and performed in A Distressing Scenario, From a Distance, Deeply Offensive and Utterly Untrue, THIS KIND OF RUCKUS, The Table ofKnowledge, The Tender Age, The Major MinorParty and The Vehicle Failed to Stop.
Magdalena Blackley has lived on Palm Island most of her life and is an active community member. Her passion has always been for working in community groups and early childhood education. She was a councillor on the Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council; a director for the Palm Island Community Company; and is currently Secretary of the Bwgcolman Aboriginal Arts Co-Op.
Beautiful One Day is Kylie Doomadgee’s first professional production. In 2009 she studied at the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts (ACPA), where she performed in In theRaw. She graduated from Wangetti Campus, Cairns, in 2010. She hopes to go back to ACPA to complete her studies; and intends to pursue a career in theatre and film.
Harry Reuben graduated from Marist College Ashgrove in Brisbane. He lives and works on Palm Island. When not on stage, he works for the Department of Human Services, Centrelink. During his free time he is involved with the local PCYC and mentoring programs for the Indigenous youth of Palm Island.
Eamon Flack is Associate Director – New Projects at Belvoir. He has worked as a director, actor, writer and dramaturge for companies and festivals around Australia. For Belvoir his directing credits include Angels in America, Babyteeth, As You Like It and The End. His production of Jason de Santis’s Wulamanayuwiand the Seven Pamanui tours nationally in 2013 and 2014.
David Williams is a freelance performance maker, and holds a PhD from UNSW. He was a founder of version 1.0, co-devising and producing all the company’s work from 1998 until his departure in 2012. He is currently developing new theatre works for QTC, Vitalstatistix, Hothouse Theatre and Powerhouse Youth Theatre, among other freelance projects.
Sean Bacon studied video and visual arts, graduating with Honours in 1998. He has previously worked with Belvoir on Measurefor Measure, for which he won a Sydney Theatre Award for Stage Design. He has been a company artist for version 1.0 since 2005. In 2005 he undertook a three-month residency at the Australia Council’s Green Street Studios in New York.
Biographies – Creative Team
Original Set and Costume Designer
Ruby Langton-Batty designed Windmill Baby, Beautiful One Day and Coranderrk for Belvoir. She designed costumes for The ShadowKing at Malthouse Theatre, and is currently designing Black Diggers with QTC and Sydney Festival. She has designed several short films and assisted on Redfern Now seasons 1 and 2, and feature film The Sapphires.
Original Lighting Designer
Since completing a Bachelor of Creative Arts from the University of Wollongong in 2007, Frank Mainoo has worked regularly with companies including Urban Theatre Projects, version 1.0, Belvoir, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, ICE (Information and Cultural Exchange) and PACT. In 2010 he received a fellowship grant to attend Theaterformen in Germany.
Paul Prestipino is a composer and recording artist with extensive experience creating sound for performance. Recent credits include TheVehicle Failed to Stop and The DisappearancesProject for version 1.0, and Buried City for Urban Theatre Projects/Belvoir/Sydney Festival. He recently directed a radio adaptation of TheDisappearances Project for ABC Radio National, nominated for the Prix Italia Award 2013. Other collaborations include projects with Roman Paska (USA) and Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio (Italy).
Kylie Farmer (Kaarljilba Kaardn) is an actor, television presenter, writer and director. Hailing from the Nyungar/Bibbulmun nation, her theatre credits include The Sapphires, The White Divers of Broome, A MidsummerNight’s Dream, Romeo & Juliet, One Day in’67, King Hit and Aliwa. Her film and television credits include Redfern Now, The Gods ofWheat Street, Ace of Spades, Stone Bros., TheMarngrook Footy Show and Waabiny Time.
Laura Smans began her career working on Adelaide Writers’ Week with the Adelaide Festival. Since then, she has toured extensively with many Australian companies, including Windmill Theatre and Patch Theatre Company. She specialises in production management, working with festivals including WOMADelaide, Adelaide Festival, Next Wave, Woodford Folk Festival and the Adelaide Film Festival.
Bluebottle is a Melbourne-based design company with expertise in combining light and form in inventive ways. The bluebottle team is accomplished in managing all aspects of a project to achieve an excellent outcome. Company members work across various art forms as creative consultants, designers, technical directors and project managers. Their work can be seen in theatres, galleries, museums and architecture.
ILBIJERRI Theatre Company
ILBIJERRI is Australia’s leading and longest-running Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander theatre company, creating challenging and inspiring theatre creatively controlled by Indigenous artists. The company’s stories are provocative and affecting, giving voice to Australia’s unique and diverse Indigenous cultures.
ILBIJERRI tours its work to urban, regional and remote locations across Australia, and internationally; and has commissioned 30 new Indigenous works and performed for more than 150,000 people. ILBIJERRI delivers a broad program of artist development for new and emerging Indigenous writers, actors, directors and creatives.
Born from community, ILBIJERRI remains a spearhead for the Australian Indigenous community, in telling the stories of what it means to be Indigenous in Australia today. Its work possesses the power to reach out and remind audiences of every person’s need for family, history and heritage.
ILBIJERRI’s collaborative relationships with communities and artists are at the heart of the company’s creative process; all of ILBIJERRI’s work empowers and enlightens its audiences.
version 1.0 is a company of artists that makes devised performances that are both political and personal. Its performances are based on rigorous research and the subject matter engages with political and social issues through innovative theatrical strategies.
version 1.0 is acclaimed in Australia for its innovative, accessible and entertaining mix of documentary theatre, contemporary performance and media spectacle. Recent works include The Vehicle Failed to Stop and The Major Minor Party (2013), The TenderAge (2012), the widely acclaimed The Tableof Knowledge (2011–12), The DisappearancesProject (2011), A Distressing Scenario and the Helpmann-Award-winning THIS KIND OF RUCKUS (2010), seven kilometres north-east(2010–12) and the Green-Room-Award-winningThe Bougainville Photoplay Project (2008–11).
When the theatre in an old tomato sauce factory at 25 Belvoir St, Surry Hills, Sydney, was threatened with redevelopment in 1984, more than 600 people – passionate lovers and makers of theatre – formed a syndicate to buy the building and save it. It was an act of love; to theatre and to the city.
Thirty years later, Belvoir is still going strong and has nurtured the finest theatrical talents in this country. Belvoir fills its two beautiful theatres year-round with performances that are visionary, bold and risky; and takes its work to other capital cities, regional Australia and overseas.
Belvoir’s work is fresh, dynamic and challenging. Come see for yourself.
Beautiful One Day Forum
North Melbourne Town Hall
Sunday 1 December 2013, 3.30pm
FREE, bookings essential
Led by some of Australia’s leading Indigenous professionals and academics, this forum will consider the relationships between art, performance and politics; and how these connections give voice to issues of national importance both within and outside Indigenous communities.
Writer and educator Tony Birch will facilitate the discussion alongside panellists Larissa Behrendt, Daniel Browning, Genevieve Grieves and with devisors Paul Dwyer, Rachael Maza and Aunty Magdalena Blackley.
Tony Birch is a Melbourne-based writer and community educator. His writing includes short fiction, novels, poetry and essays. He is an active critic of colonial history in Australia and the continuing marginalisation of Indigenous communities and the disadvantaged, particularly the homeless.
Tony Birch’s work is widely read and loved, including by those who might normally avoid books, particularly teenage boys. Through his outreach work, he visits many schools to speak to students, and takes particular pleasure in returning to the two schools that expelled him, as\ both of his previous books are on the syllabus.
Larissa Behrendt is an Australian academic, writer and novelist who has written extensively on legal and Indigenous issues. She is a Professor of Law and Director of the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), and completed a Master of Laws and a Doctorate at Harvard Law School in 1994 and 1998, respectively. In March 2011 she was named the first Chair of Indigenous Research at UTS.
Daniel Browning produces and presents Awaye!, ABC Radio National’s Indigenous culture program; as well as a range of arts programs from Monday to Thursday at 9pm including Into the Music and Poetica. A former news director at Triple J, he has worked for the ABC since 1994. He is also a freelance arts writer and has been guest editor of specialist Indigenous issues of the contemporary arts journal Artlink.
Genevieve Grieves, traditionally from the mid-north coast of New South Wales, is Lead Curator of the First Peoples exhibition at the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Melbourne Museum. She is also a filmmaker and media artist. She has worked with the Koorie Heritage Trust as an oral historian, on the Mission Voices website for the ABC, and as a field producer on FirstAustralians for SBS television. She wrote and directed the documentary Lani’s Story.
Beautiful One Day draws on many different documentary materials and interviews with Palm Islander people. The companies thank those who appear in the production through their stories, their voices or their images:
Valmai and Pamela Aplin, Uncle Dudley Bostock, David Bulsey, Elizabeth Clay, Samuel ‘Johnny’ Clay, Rachel Cummins, Walter Foster, Aunty Betty Geia, Georgina Haines, Erykah Kyle, Dulcie Polowea Isaro, Renarta Prior, Aunty Mary Spencer, Milton Thaiday, Perry Thompson, Jeff Waters, Joanne Watson, Iris White, Gerald Wotton, Lex Wotton.
Grateful acknowledgment and thanks to the following people who provided information, guidance, support and wisdom during the making of Beautiful One Day:
Vernon Ah Kee, Dr Thalia Anthony, Cecilia Barber, Robert Blackley, Kevin Castors, Vaughn Charles, Patrick Clarke, Veronica and Lawrence Coops, Darren Dale, Archie Frazer, Cathy Freeman, Tom Geia, Naomi Geia, Tania Haines, Serina James, Andrea Kyle-Sailor, Mayor Alf Lacey and the Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Councillors, C’Zarke Maza, Lorraine Munro, Moses and Francesca Nelliman, Valentine Nona, Winnie Obah, Palm Island Elders’ Group, Svea Pittman, Joe Albert Reuben, Selena Reuben, Ethel Robertson, Selina Shepherd, Telstan Sibley, Raymond and Ruby Sibley, Sisters of the St Anne’s Parish, Irene Thaiday, Tracey Twaddle and Christian Willis.
The Balnaves Foundation
Supporting Beautiful One Day
The Balnaves Foundation is a private philanthropic organisation that was established in 2006 by Neil Balnaves AO to provide support to charitable enterprises across Australia. The Foundation has been funding Belvoir’s Indigenous theatre program since 2011; each year it provides the financial underpinning for Belvoir to present two Indigenous works. A range of access programs is attached to the productions, including an unwaged performance and schools matinees.
Showing its commitment to Indigenous work at Belvoir, the Balnaves Foundation has supported productions of Jack Charles V the Crown, Windmill Baby, Beautiful One Day, Don’t Take Your Love to Town, The Cake Man and Coranderrk.
Arts House presents contemporary arts in programs encompassing performance, exhibitions, live art, residencies and other activities that nurture, support and stimulate cultural engagement. We value work in which artists at different stages of their careers, as well as our diverse audiences and communities, are actively involved in creating an imaginative, just and environmentally sustainable global society.
Arts House’s programs include two curated public seasons of multidisciplinary work each year. Approximately half of this work is selected through an Expression of Interest process. We seek artists who are responding to the urgent issues of our time in imaginative and surprising ways, taking artistic risks and offering multiple ways for audiences to engage with or co-author their work.
For more information, please contact us on the details below.