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ABORIGINES’ PROTEST
The Argus, December 3, 1938

‘At a meeting of the Australian Aborigines’ League a resolution was passed voicing, of behalf of the aborigines of Australia, a strong protest against the ‘cruel persecution of the Jewish people by the Nazi Government of Germany, and asking that this persecution be brought to an end.’

Bright World

by Elise Hearst & Andrea James

1938. Europe burns. Young Jewish couple Hans and Alice Herskovics mount a dangerous escape from Nazi-occupied Vienna.

Half a world away, after a lifetime advocating for the rights of his own people, Yorta Yorta leader William Cooper leads a deputation to the front door of Melbourne’s German Consulate. His message – the persecution of the Jewish people must stop.

Nearly eighty years later, two playwrights come together on page and stage to explore the legacy of their ancestors in a unique cross-cultural collaboration.

What makes a hero?
Who can pull off the best 90’s flashback?
Whose dog is smartest?
Whose oppression largest?

From Austria to Australia, from a Deb Ball in Benalla to a Brighton Bat Mitzvah, Bright World is a genre-bending trip into the heart of our history-making.

Team

PLAYWRIGHTS Elise Hearst & Andrea James
DIRECTOR Paige Rattray
PRODUCER Belinda Kelly
DRAMATURG Emma Valente
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Olivia Satchell
DESIGNER Romanie Harper
SOUND DESIGN/COMPOSITION Tom Hogan
LIGHTING DESIGN Emma Valente
CHOREOGRAPHER Kurt Phelan
STAGE MANAGER Natalie Breakwell
PRODUCTION MANAGER Cat Scobie

With Elise Hearst, Andrea James, Kevin Kiernan-Molloy, Shari Sebbens, Guy Simon

Presentation & Tickets

Theatre Works, Acland St, St Kilda.
Season dates: 13 – 30 April, 2016
Buy tix

Meet the playwrights

In partnership with Theatre Works and the Koorie Heritage Trust, we are presenting a panel discussion on Making Family Art on Tuesday 19 April at 6:30pm in Fed Square. Hosted by playwright Jane Harrison, the panel features artist Steaphan Paton, Curator Kimberley Moulton and Bright World playwrights Elise Hearst and Andrea James.  The event is free, please join us!

Partners

Bright World is a Theatre Works commission as part of the Access All Areas Residency Program (pilot) with further development supported by Playwriting Australia. This work would not have been made possible without the support of funding partners Catalyst, Creative Victoria, Gandel Philanthropy, Match and the Robert Salzer Foundation. We are proud to be supported by cultural partners including the Jewish Holocaust Centre, B’nai Brith Courage to Care (Vic), Koorie Heritage Trust and the Jewish Museum of Australia.

Education notes, DVD & script

The production features on the VCE Drama playlist in 2016. A production DVD, script and teacher notes are now available. To purchase a DVD, get in touch. Buy a copy of the script here.

Media

Theatre Works 2016 season, the Age
Interview with Elise & Andrea on Radio National, April 2016
Interview with Elise & Andrea in the Age, April 2016
Elise & Andrea in conversation, Jewish Museum blog, April 2016
Review in the Australian, 19 April 2016
Real Time Arts review, May 2016

Touring

Bright World is available for touring in 2018. Please contact Chris Bendell at Critical Stages, chris@criticalstages.com.au

Bright World Trailer from Arts Unimelb on Vimeo.

 

About William Cooper

Remarks at Yad Vashem commemorating William Cooper

William Cooper story, 7:30 Report

 

Image: Sarah Walker

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