ACCLAIMED playwright Nathan Maynard will bring his first full-length play to the Limestone Coast later this month as part of the Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre’s 2018 season.
The Season, which has toured Australia and even featured at the Sydney Opera House, tells the story of the Duncans – a family on Dog Island in Bass Strait during the annual mutton bird harvest.
This year, things are different – one generation is giving way to the next, the youngsters have their own way of doing things and government regulation is making its presence felt.
The Season provides a fascinating glimpse into a little-known cultural tradition – while it is a fictional play, Mr Maynard evokes the hundreds of stories shared during his family’s annual get together and his own experiences over 20 years of birding seasons.
Young indigenous actor James Slee has secured the role of 17-year-old Clay – the youngest of the Duncans – in the upcoming production.
Although only 21 years of age, Mr Slee already has a decorated portfolio in the arts, having appeared in productions such as Redfern Now, Black Comedy, The Secret River and The Cake Man.
Growing up in a regional area, Mr Slee is excited to perform in the Limestone Coast as he believes everyone should have access to the arts.
“I have never been to South Australia, so I am really interested to see what everything is like,” he said.
“When I was young, I did not have the chance to see plays or performances in my community as they just did not tour in country towns.
“I think it is really important we take the time to come out to regional areas to give the whole country a taste of our work.”
Despite Mr Slee’s indigenous heritage, the differences between his culture and the culture of those in Tasmania is something he found insightful.
“It was a really cool learning experience to get an understanding of how our Tasmanian brothers and sisters do things,” Mr Slee said.
“It was definitely eye-opening, but in many ways we all felt at home as even though we may do things a little differently, we are all still very similar.”
Other members of the stellar cast include Trevor Jamieson (The Secret River, Bran Nue Dae), Matthew Cooper (Redfern Now), Lisa Maza (The Sapphires, Black Arm Band), Nazaree Dickerson, Della Rae Morrison and Maitland Schnaars.
The Season will hit the stage at the Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre on August 18 with tickets available at the box office.