5+5 first development explores living and growing in Western Sydney

Australia is extraordinary in its diversity of cultures, however so little of that – our communities, histories, experiences, stories – is reflected on our stages, in our companies or in our audiences.  And often where diversity is reflected, it is often characterised through a Western lens and narrative.

5+5 (working title) is an exciting foray into experimental playwriting by writers Maryam Azam, Winne Dunn, Shirley Le, Stephen Pham, and Peter Polites – five inspirational talents from Western Sydney.

Performing Lines, in partnership with Sweatshop and Playwriting Australia (PWA) through its Ignition program, has commissioned a script and is producing a series of intensive script and creative development periods in 2018.

The first development for 5+5 took place from October 12-14 2018. The writers were joined by mentors Sopa Enari and Phoebe Grainer (PWA).

The exploration during the weekend focused primarily on teasing out the themes within individual narratives developed by the writers and developing the characters in each story – and how they serve the larger narrative as a way to begin to find links and points of intersection between the individual narratives.

The five writers are using Trump’s inauguration as the backdrop for the setting of the story, which offers insights into the nuances of living and growing up in Western Sydney through each of the five characters.

Together, the stories confront issues of alienation, and belonging whilst offering an insight into Western Sydney, and Australian culture from a perspective we don’t often see on our stages or screens. Each writer traces and examines the circumstances that shape a person’s ideological beliefs from a personal vantage point; providing an incredibly complex and authentic understanding of the communities that make up the social fabric of our society.

At this early stage, the writers are exploring the various styles of oral storytelling that their stories will inhabit, and be presented as on stage. In the next couple of months the writers will meet to further develop and refine their characters and stories, as well as create a plot structure that will bring cohesion to their individual narratives.

This process will be facilitated by Sopa Enari, the Script Editor and Dramaturg with support from Phoebe Grainer (PWA) and Zainab Syed (PL).

The second development will take place in December.

Click here to read more about the project and the writers.

Performing Lines acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we work – the Gadigal in Sydney, the Whadjuk in Perth, and the Muwinina in Hobart – and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.

We extend those respects to all First Nations peoples on whose lands we travel and perform.