In 2011, ATYP began a series of residencies in the town of Katherine in the Northern Territory. Over the following two years playwrights Rachael Coopes and Wayne Blair spent two months in this unique place. The aim was to create a story that would allow people around the country to gain a personal understanding of what life is like growing up in remote Australia. The result is an absolutely extraordinary new play, Sugarland.
The story follows the unlikely friendship that develops between Erica and Nina. Erica's Dad is in the RAAF so her life gets a transplant every few years. Now she's in year eleven she's stopped trying to fit in. What does it matter; she's out of here in a few years anyway. Nina's good at school but that's not important. She needs a house to live in and she needs it soon. Nina's been living at her Auntie's so she can go to school in town but that's not working out. The only thing they have in common is the music they listen to. Sometimes that's enough.
Over the past three years ATYP's professional co-productions have received industry acclaim, challenging expectations of youth theatre and winning awards locally and nationally. Sugarland heralds a new age for the company. It will be the first completely professional production staged solely by ATYP in over 30 years.
Iconic composer and actor David Page (Bangarra Dance Theatre) makes his directing debut collaborating with ATYP's Artistic Director, Fraser Corfield. Sugarland will be presented to the community of Katherine before opening at Darwin Festival.
Written by Rachael Coopes with Wayne Blair
Directed by David Page & Fraser Corfield
Image: Zan Wimberley © ATYP 2014
Supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, Arts NSW & Tim Fairfax Family Foundation