Opening next week – 5th biennial Yellamundie Festival celebrates First Peoples storytellers

Moogahlin Performing Arts together with Sydney Festival and Carriageworks will present four ground-breaking works from five First Peoples storytellers and two live-panel discussions as part of the 5th biennial Yellamundie Festival, next week!

Photo by Jamie James

All performances will be COVID-safe following NSW Health advice, with social distancing, compulsory mask wearing, strict cleaning measures inside Carriageworks, as well as virtual viewings. The Festival will continue to monitor the advice of NSW Health and update as appropriate.

From 22-23 January 2021 for just $15, Sydneysiders can see brand-new developmental works from cutting-edge First Peoples talent including:

  • The Lookout, a playwrighting performance by Dalara Williams;
  • Waterholes, a dance performance by Shana O’Brien;
  • The First Shot, a composition performance by Troy Russell;
  • Gumbirrangarroo Dalanngarroo (Longest Time Right Now), a composition performance by Brad Steadman and Mark Ross.

On January 23, Yellamundie Festival will present two live-panel discussions:

  • Ticketed Meet The Artists Panel showcasing the voices of Yellamundie Festival 2021;
  • Free live-streamed Yawarra (Dramaturgy) International First Nations Panel featuring renowned First Peoples theatre practitioners from Australia, Aotearoa (New Zealand) and Turtle Island (Canada).

Due to interstate border restrictions two performances will be developed in the artists home states and shown virtually in February & March as part of Yellamundie Festival at Home:

  • (MELBOURNE, VIC) Seventh Season Dreaming, a dance performance by Sermsah Bin Saad;
  • (BRISBANE, QLD) Capricorn, a playwrighting performance by Aidan Rowlingson.

Each work will undergo two weeks of Development Workshops, before being presented in a festival of public readings, yarns, and events in Sydney in January, and Brisbane and Melbourne in February and March 2021.

Moogahlin (Muu-gah-lin) is a Yuin/Bundjalung word meaning to play, to fool about.  Moogahlin Performing Arts Incorporated is New South Wales’ leading First Peoples performing arts company.

Moogahlin develops, produces, and presents new work, is strongly connected to community, and are committed to nurturing First Peoples performing arts practitioners locally, regionally, and nationally by building platforms for emerging and established performing arts makers. Moogahlin was formed in Redfern N.S.W. in November 2007, in honour of the late Kevin Smith’s request, and in memory of the founding members of the National Black Theatre.

The company vision is a culturally empowered First Peoples community and performing arts sector. Moogahlin’s aim is to inspire First Peoples communities and performing arts practitioners to tell their stories, and to provide opportunities for these stories to be developed and presented. This is achieved in three ways. The first is through an ambitious and strong core artistic program that consists of developing and producing distinctive, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary new performance works, and regional development. The second is to provide a safe and nurturing environment for artists and communities to share their stories with respect to First Peoples cultural practices and protocols. Thirdly Moogahlin invests time and energy into sustaining the growth and expansion of the organisation and sector.

Yellamundie Festival is the only Festival in Australia to identify, develop, and present new First Peoples stories for stage and has seen ten featured works go on to full production in Australia.


What: Yellamundie Festival
When: 22 – 23 January 2021; February & March 2021
Where: Carriageworks, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh NSW 2015
Streaming at: SYDFESTATHOME, Moogahlin Youtube, Moogahlin Facebook

Tickets: $15 per show (inc. booking fee), at sydneyfestival.org.au/events/yellamundie-festival

Further information and tickets available at: sydneyfestival.org.au/events/yellamundie-festival.

This project is supported by Create NSW, Australia Council for the Arts, City of Sydney, and the Office for the Arts. 

Gabi Bergman

Gabi Bergman is a Melbourne-based performer and educator. She holds a Double Arts degree in Theatre Studies and Film/Screen Studies and a Master of Teaching (Secondary Education). Gabi has always been an avid lover of theatre, specifically musicals, and spends way too much money than she’d like to admit on tickets. Her most prized possession is her crate of theatre programs.

Gabi Bergman

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