69 Jonson St
Byron Bay NSW 2481
2 performances: Sat 16th June, 7.30pm & Mon 18th June, 6.30pm
Stolen is a must see for all Australians. On the 20th anniversary of its premiere season, this timely revival of Jane Harrison’s landmark play is as powerful today as it was for its very first audience.
Stolen interweaves the stories of five children taken from their families – Ruby, Jimmy, Shirley, Sandy and Ann. Their stories are from different times and different places, but the five characters interact with each other as if their experiences were shared. Theirs are the stories of many.
With a background in dance, Wiradjuri director Vicki Van Hout’s acclaimed production is vibrant and inventive, with playground-inspired choreography, a rhythmic soundscape and an eerily colourful yarn-bombed tree as a key feature of the set.
With endearing characters and plenty of humour, Stolen is ultimately a play about love and loss, resilience and hope. As we recognise that more Indigenous children are being removed today than at any other time in Australian history, this contemporary retelling is a thoughtful and moving reminder of our past and our present that will resonate long after you return home.
★★★★★ “Van Hout’s production is expansive, earthy, and generous.” Time Out
★★★★★ “The play is at once a chance to reflect on the tragedies of our recent past and a celebration of the endurance of Aboriginal people and their diverse cultures…a modern classic.” Daily Review
“Van Hout and her ensemble have delivered a fresh and emotionally affecting take on an Australian classic.” Limelight Magazine
“The second work in the first season by the National Theatre of Parramatta, STOLEN reflects the Riverside’s mission to present work that resonates with audiences, allowing them to immerse themselves in issues that have dramatically and unfairly impacted on the well-being of our Indigenous community.” Sydney Arts Guide
“Van Hout has interwoven and augmented the scenes with beautifully choreographed and performed dance and movement segments, that heighten the anguish and despair of the stories, yet infuse them with a renaissance of identity and hope.” Stage Whispers
“What can I tell you about Stolen, the first play I ever wrote? Firstly, that I was honoured to be given the opportunity to write this play by Ilbijerri Theatre Company. It was an honour, and a deep responsibility, to be tasked with creating a story that, in its simple way, tries to encapsulate the experiences of the Stolen Generations. I can tell you that it took six years to write and workshop and finally get to the stage. And that it has taken on a life of its own since, touring many parts of the world along with cities and regional towns across Australia and that even in a place as culturally different as Japan it still resonated.
I can tell you that half the Aboriginal actors I know, it seems, have performed in it at one time or another in the 18 years since it premiered! And that everyone who performs in it or directs it brings their own poignant stories and experiences to the story, enriching it with their commitment and talent.
For audiences, I hope it brings understanding that we are all part of this story, it is part of our history and our present. For the Aboriginal community members in the audience, it is my profound hope that we do your stories justice.” Jane Harrison
“I am always surprised by the power and presence of humour, especially when times appear at their bleakest and this play readily utilises humour to this effect. This play is ultimately not about lives in the home care system, but of the resilience to overcome an appalling start in life. This work operates as a sort of modern day urban song cycle, the storytelling occurs in a kind of dreaming time, where chronology and geography is fluid and secondary to the essence of who these characters are.
I am always seeking to embed my own works with the knowledge I have and am continuing to accumulating as a long-time alumni of NAISDA. At NAISDA we learned dances, were told stories, lore and law, we made our own props from simple materials, often including, developing and substituting the traditional artefacts with urban equivalents at hand.
I have enhanced the idea of Stolen occurring as a song cycle, sung or conceived by the character Ruby. Because she is deemed disturbed, I see her character as accessing the Dreaming more readily.“ Vicki Van Hout
Please note: there is a schools performance on Stolen scheduled for Monday 18 June, 10am. Please contact Venue Manager for all school bookings: email@example.com
5.30pm – Internet Sales close
6.30pm – Venue doors open | Box Office sales open | Venue Bar open
7.00pm – Theatre doors open
7.30pm – Stolen
9.00pm – Event concludes (No interval)