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WAAPA collaborates with Ryerson on theatre premiere

Friday, 07 June 2019

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Six WAAPA students and staff are heading to Canada next week to present the world premiere of a new theatre work at the Parodos Festival, held from Thursday, 13 - Sunday, 16 June at Ryerson University in Toronto.

So Speaks the Land, which examines issues of identity, migration and diversity, is a partnership-based initiative between WAAPA and Ryerson.

Ryerson’s School of Performance hosts the annual Parodos, a multidisciplinary, multicultural and multigenerational arts festival that focusses on pairing emerging artists with seasoned professionals.

WAAPA Acting students Kaya-Marley Jarrett, Domino McCathrion and Darius Williams will perform So Speaks the Land with Blessing Adedijo and Pablo Ogunlesi from Ryerson’s Acting course. WAAPA’s Aboriginal Performance lecturer Simon Stewart, who is also in the cast, has provided cultural information and support on the project.

The new work was written by American playwright Dr Velina Hasu Houston, based on the biographical stories of its multicultural cast. It is directed by WAAPA’s Associate Dean of Performance, Associate Professor Andrew Lewis, and produced by Dr Peggy Shannon, Chair of the School of Performance at Ryerson.

Bachelor of Performance Making graduate Jessica Russell, currently undertaking her Masters at the WA Screen Academy, is travelling with the WAAPA group to make a documentary about the project.

Dr Shannon and Associate Professor Lewis will co-author a research journal article about the project’s outcomes.

For more information, please visit the Parodos Festival website.

This production is part of The Crossing Borders Project, a creative research endeavour funded by grants from the Partnership for Change: RBC Immigrant, Diversity, and Inclusion Project, and Ryerson International Experiential Learning Initiative Fund, with Ethics Approval by Ryerson University and Edith Cowan University.

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