Do we need a National Indigenous Theatre?

The new conversation about a National Australian Theatre has a feeling of deja vu for Indigenous performers who have long discussed a National Indigenous Theatre. But with more than 200 language groups and cultures, how would it work?

Image: Yirra Yaakin celebrates 21 years as WA’s leading Aboriginal performing arts company with the exhibition Ialaru: A Celebration at the Western Australian Museum, Perth.

The publication last week of Julian Meyrick’s the Retreat of National Drama, has once more put the idea of a national Australian theatre company on centre stage. Meyrick’s vision is prompted by his analysis of repertoire which shows that our main stage companies still shy away from new Australian work and rarely revive the work of Australian playwrights

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on community radio station Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Festival Living Legend in 2017. In 2019 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021.

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