Ian Michael to Direct Stolen at Sydney Theatre Company

Ian Michael to Direct Stolen at Sydney Theatre Company

Following his award-winning directorial debut with Sydney Theatre Company’s Constellations, resident director and Wilman Noongar man Ian Michael is set to helm a new production of Jane Harrison’s Stolen next month. Ian Michael to Direct Stolen at Sydney Theatre Company

Ian Michael to Direct Stolen at Sydney Theatre Company

This much-anticipated play will be showcased at Sydney Theatre Company’s (STC) Wharf Theatre from June 6, featuring a stellar cast including Nunga actor Kartanya Maynard (known for Netflix’s Heartbreak High and Amazon Prime’s Deadloch), Waanyi, Djiru, Kuku Yalanji and Yidinji actor Jarron Andy, Wongatha actor Mathew Cooper, Truwulway and Martu actor Stephanie Somerville, and Gamilaroi actor Megan Wilding.

Ian Michael to Direct Stolen at Sydney Theatre Company

A Seminal Australian Play

Stolen, hailed as a seminal Australian play, is based on real-life testimonies of the Stolen Generations. The script poignantly shifts between past and present, telling the stories of Jimmy, Ruby, Shirley, Sandy, and Anne—five individuals whose lives were profoundly affected by policies designed to erase their cultural identity.

Creative Team

The creative team behind Stolen includes Renée Mulder (designer), Trent Suidgeest (lighting designer), James Brown (composer & sound designer), and Megan Sampson (assistant director). Their combined expertise promises to bring Harrison’s powerful narrative to life with depth and sensitivity.

Michael’s Personal Connection

Ian Michael, deeply moved by the continuing relevance of Stolen, emphasizes the personal resonance of the play. As the child of a man taken in the early 70s, Michael feels a profound responsibility to honor the script’s truth and emotional depth.

“There is not one First Nations person of any generation in this country who has grown up unaffected by the government policies to forcibly remove children from their families,” Michael said. “As the child of a man who was taken in the early 70s, I feel a deep responsibility to honor the truth, pain, tenderness, humor, and injustice contained within Jane Harrison’s timeless script.

Stolen is a beacon of what Aboriginal storytelling has been and can be, and the impact this play has had on the Australian cultural landscape cannot be overestimated. It is my privilege to be working with this exceptional cast and creative team to share the real-life stories of our families and communities with new audiences in 2024.”

A Living Cultural Document

Despite being written over 25 years ago, Stolen has enjoyed 37 seasons at 31 venues, including 10 overseas and 1 digital presentation for schools. Approximately 150,000 people worldwide have experienced this poignant narrative, making it a living cultural document of the Stolen Generations’ experiences.

Under Michael’s direction, Stolen aims to continue illuminating the ongoing injustices faced by Australia’s First Nations people, ensuring their stories resonate with new audiences.

Stolen by Jane Harrison, directed by Ian Michael, will play at Wharf 1 Theatre from June 6, 2024.

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Source: https://nit.com.au/23-05-2024/11549/first-nations-director-ian-michael-to-direct-new-production-of-jane-harrisons-seminal-australian-play-stolen

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