Public 1 & Fight Captain
CREATIVE AND PRODUCTION TEAM
Associate Lighting Designer and Vision Designer
Assistant Production Manager
Assistant Stage Manager
Workshop Head of Department
Leading Workshop Hand
Olivia Rose Brennan
Al Brill, Isabella Edwards
Deputy Head Electrician, Lighting Programmer and Operator
^Second year Master of Design for Performance student
*Third year BFA (Design and Production) student
Morgan Jones, Ellen Sayers
Howard Clark, Karen Trott
VCA Theatre Academic Staff
Tony Smith, Budi Miller, Georgina Naidu
Production Academic Mentors
Martyn Coutts, Lyndie Li Wan Po
VCA Production Academic Staff
Andrew Bailey, Jo Briscoe, Emily Collett, Anna Cordingley, John Ford,
Justin Green, Amanda Hitten, Lisa Mibus, Lisa Osborn, Richard Roberts
GABAN is a Wiradjuri word meaning strange and is a post-traumatic experimental story about the history of museum collecting. All Aboriginal language in this performance is Wiradjuri, my matrilineal kinship group. In writing this play, I wanted to create a fictional space of healing, within the often-traumatising experience of being in the museum and accessing cultural objects. In my practice, I have made new artworks and museum interventions that are both inspired and troubled by these ethnographic collections, which were often acquired under conditions of violence, genocidal acts and denial of our ongoing culture and existence.
Colonial exploits have flooded museums with the bodies of our ancestors and cultural objects, what I call ngawal murrungamirra or Powerful Objects. GABAN begun with characters who embody ngawal murrungamirra, for example TREE and PHOTO. Other characters in the play allow me to explore the institutional power of the museum and its transformation, like MUSEUM and PUBLIC. Like other Indigenous Ways of Knowing GABAN honours the life force of the land, and of objects and non-human actors. It is set within deep time and alternative futures not bound by Western chronology or classificatory systems.
- Brook Garru Andrew, Playwright
The journey of realising Gaban has involved extensive consultation and dialogue with Traditional Owners, First Nations communities, Theatre colleagues, and a truly extraordinary group of third-year artists. These processes are at the core of the work for which the Wilin Centre advocates. We are proud to have played a part in bringing this work to life.
Gaban is a work which transcends cultures, boundaries and time. It affords us the ability to gaze deeper into rarely-acknowledged aspects of our histories and identities, allowing us to ask sometimes difficult questions about where we’ve been and, more importantly, about where we now want to go. This is a story of strength and resilience, which reminds us our stories are not gone from this world… sometimes they’re just well hidden.
- Tiriki Onus, Head of the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development
When Brook Andrew told me that he had written a play and that he would like me to read it, I was so excited to see what story he wanted to tell. I was immediately taken by its force both spiritually and academically. As a post-dramatic work it had echos of Greek tragedy, Jean Genet, and Sarah Kane. I immediately said that our 3rd year actors needed to take on this work in their studio production. It has been an invaluable opportunity for them to work with a world premiere First Nations play. As a training vehicle, it draws on all 3 years of their actor training, physically, emotionally, and intellectually.
In this production I have attempted to offer an experience of colonialism and the brutal brittle sutures of institutionalised dysconsious racism in the art world. We hope to leave you questioning your contribution to this discussion.
- Director, Budi Miller
The speaking of language is the sovereign right of all First Nations people and the connection of language and country cannot be denied. We are eternally grateful to the elders and Traditional Owners from around the continent who have supported and championed the use of Wiradjuri language in this production.
We thank them for their permission, guidance and diplomacy, in allowing us to speak Wiradjuri on these lands.
Special thanks to Shiralee Hood for her contribution to the design and visual concepts of Gaban.