News

In collaboration with Belvoir St Theatre and the Afghan artistic community, we present Art for Afghanistan, a series of short video reflections that celebrate 5 Afghan artists, their art and their stories. 

At this years’ Sydney Festival, PYT presented Dorr-e Dari: A Poetic Crash Course In The Language of Love. In response to the recent tragic events in Afghanistan, PYT hosted an online event called A Love Letter to our Watan, building off the work they made with Dorr-e Dari. And earlier this year Belvoir presented Stop Girl by Sally Sara, which chronicled Sally’s experience as a foreign correspondent returning home to Australia from Afghanistan.

Art For Afghanistan builds on these projects, to create short form content that celebrates Afghan culture and artistry, and aims to raise funds for Action Aid’s emergency response through an auction of the artists’ work. The artists have been curated by Bibi Goul Mossavi, and their videos will be released over the next 10 days on social media and this page.

The featured artists include Bibi Goul Mossavi (beading), Elyas Alavi (painting and poetry), Jalal Nazari (calligraphy), Arefa Hassani (‘thread painting’ and embroidery), and Lemah Orya (ceramic sculptures). Each artist will also share a favourite poem.

Head to Belvoir St Theatre for more details on how you can support the fund-raising effort: either by bidding for an artwork or simply donating to Action Aid Fundraiser, both of which you can do through the auction page. The auction will be live from Tuesday 5 – Friday 8 October 2021 once all five videos showcasing the artists and their stories are released.


Image Description: Art for Afghanistan is written in black in a calligraphy style at the centre of the image with a Persian translation underneath. It is sitting on a cream paper like background.  There is a purple, blue, black and orange Afghan styled, patterned square on the left hand side of the text. 


Video Description:
This landscape video is divided into three vertical frames, each featuring a different video.

  1. The frame on the left is a cropped image of the outside of a two-story house with white walls and a close to black roof and garage door. Framing the front of the left side of the house is a tall green fern that moves in the wind. At the top there is a clear blue sky.
  2. The middle frame features Bibi Goul Mossavi who is sitting crossed legged facing the camera holding a cup of tea, in a clear glass. As she talks, she moves her hands.
  3. The frame on the right is a close-up video of two hands beading with a needle and clear string. The beads are very small and are gold, orange and blue. The beads are held in an aluminium tin.

This project has been developed in partnership with Belvoir St Theatre. It has been generously supported by the Australia Council for the Arts and the NSW Government through Create NSW.

These poem were read by the hosts and invited guests at our event A Love Letter to our Watan presented online on Saturday September 4.



Welcome to Country by Aunty Rhonda Dixon-Grovenor

Read by Mahdi Mohhamadi

بني ادم اعضاي يكديگرند
كه در افرينش ز يك گوهرند
چو عضوي به درد اورد روزگار 
ديگر عضوها را نماند قرار
تو كه از محنت ديگران بي غمي
نشايد كه نامت نهند آدمي

All men and women are to each other
the limbs of a single body, each of us drawn
from life’s shimmering essence, God’s perfect pearl;
and when this life we share wounds one of us,
all share the hurt as if it were our own.
You, who will not feel another’s pain,
you forfeit the right to be called human.

— A poem by Saadi

Read and written by Razia Ali

Poem 1: Coffin of Our Hopes (read in Persian)


TRANSLATION:

Last night! coffin of our hopes 
Was hanging from shoulders of history
We collectively cried 
Collectively shattered 
We thought we would wake up to see our “hopes alive”
Woke up the next day 
World news headlines still was showing 
Coffin of our hopes on the dark shoulders of history

But we would raise 
To hope again

Poem 2: When you read history (read in English)

When you read history 
remember 
We shouted 
We climbed 
Without hope we hoped 
We fought empty hands 
Without ray of sun we dreamt of sunshine 
We panicked, clinged to airplane
Humanity cried for Mercy 
Cried for HELP
Mother cut their umbilical cord to save their babies from their womb 
Talib, was marching towards us
We marched towards world 
We were taken to our burning homes 
They are coming door to door 
To measure our eyes, our nose 
Our face and beliefs too 
Their troops are coming 
It’s The “*Night of Broken Glass” once again. 

Read by Inga Romantsova (In Russian and English)

I Refuse!
My eyes flooded with tears!
I cry out of anger and love!
Oh, weeping Czechoslovakia!
Oh, Spanish bloodshed!

A black mountain –
overshadows the world!
It’s time – time – time
to return this journey’s ticket
    to our Creator!

I refuse to exist!
I refuse to live
in this Bedlam of nonhumans.

With the wolves of the city squares 
I refuse to bay.
I refuse to swim
Over all the human bodies
with the sharks of dry valleys.

I don’t need sharp
ears or a poet’s prophetic eyes. I have only one response
to your mad world – reject it.

Image Credit: Film Still – Sean Bacon

Read by Bina Bhattacharya

Time has not the power to extinguish me,
Don’t think for a moment that I wait upon Time.
Let Time keep on playing his absurd battle
game, Every time he strips me, I rise clothed,
without shame; With the force of prayer, of
spells magic and divine, All that was untimely
will turn auspicious, sublime.

In a just war, the rebel stands forever unafraid
For her ally is Eternity, who, divinely arrayed, Guides
her chariot, destroying the enemy line.  Thus, a
divisive age will be defeated and spurned; Though
it brings on great wars, it will lose every time; From
all our scriptures, this is the truth I have learned.
Know that I am cherished by an undivided, infinite
age: Time will never have the power to scorch me
with its rage.

— “Right Now: Forever” by Nabaneeta Dev Sen- Bengali poet

Read and written by Warren Foster Jr aka Prodikal-1Power to the People

Now let’s take back to basics yes
I wake up another day been blessed
see the world is a crazy mess
endangered species see them take their last breath.
Are we up next?
Is it a curse, this level of consciousness?
No time to self reflect, but damn where do we begin?
There’s too many time humans sin
There’s ongoing conflicts in 
third world countries killing innocent men, women and children
Now we tortured thoughts
seek asylum from the onslaught
a baby on board 
a mother prays, screams and says ‘oh dear lord’
Please keep us safe, until we arrive in the place of mates
of great debates, where we can see the southern stars in this great big lake
Damn
and hope its okay we may just make it a little bit late
Please keep us safe

Oh, Please keep us safe, on this ocean we take 
The journey of a thousand steps 
starts here at this one place
and our old people hold, the culture that seeds our growth and this power grows
and it fuels my soul
with pride and power through every single hour I could weather every storm 
I remain on my proudest, yeah 
I will never fall until my day has come, thank you for my life and every single one in it, every single one in it

Yo
Power to the people bless
to all those trapped in their own heads
now is seems for reason for being’s bleeding is caused from traumatic events
Knock down all the walls and the fence
there is no need for borders at all
aren’t we all earthlings in the end?
Relook the cause of the war.
Now it’s awfully grim, appling things done all for the gain of some awful pig
damn
Now sanctions stun the growth, the economy of a country put under the scope
yo leave these countries alone, damn leave these countries alone
Power to the people, the people we pray for, and the voice of the voiceless who can’t say no more
Bless
Power to the people, the people we pray for, and the voice of the voiceless who can’t say no more

Image Credit: Film Still – Sean Bacon


Read and written by Bibi Goul Mossavi – A letter to Afghanistan

My watan, I am of you and I am you but I have never seen you.

My homeland, you bore my ancestors and nourished them with courage, resilience and strength. 

My motherland, I carry you in my veins and at night I hear your cries
Like a sailor at sea I wish to reach your shores
Your invasion haunts my nightmares

I long to drink from your streams, 
I long to taste your pomegranate and oranges,
I long to hike your mountains and reach the sky
I long to feel your breeze through my hair as the sun glows gently on my face
I long to stroll your alleyways and be greeted with peace

My Afghanistan, will I ever see you in this lifetime?

Read and written by Zahra QalandariMy Beloved Nation 

I am Afghan
I treasure my rich country
honourable and deserving of respect 
devotion to my country never fades 
remains in my heart eternally

Though my feet have not touched your soil
I dream of the day I breathe under your bright sky
along the map of my mind
I wander from Kandahar to Kunduz
I see your fertile landscape with closed eyes

I taste your crystal mountain water
as pure as heaven
your morning’s horizon gives life to fragrant flowers 
night witnesses the silence of sweeping valleys    
the world wonders at your colour and beauty 

My beloved homeland
gifted with white snowy mountains and golden valleys
you whisper your language in my heart
ancient customs and traditions are my way
each generation gladly follows
tied by a string that will never break

I cry out to the universe 
words of praise from my lips
for you are mine
standing by your side with a strong heart and spirit

My beloved home 
you are unique and brave 
like a warrior I protect you and keep you safe
you stay forever in our hearts

Precious Afghanistan 

Read by Mahdi (Persian) and Bibi (English)Your Fingertips

انگشتانت ادامه زنده گيست
و ادامه عشق
كه از دست هايت بيرون زده اند
در سينه ات قصه اسرار آميز كدام سرزمين را پنهان كرده اي ؟
دستم را در دستت بگذار 
سرم را در سينه ات بچسبان
تا تمام مرزهاي جهان را از بين ببرم 
و سرزمين تازه اي كشف كنم.

Your fingertips prolong this life
Prolong this love
Emanating from your hands
What untold stories from unknown lands lie hidden in your heart?
Place my hand in your hand
Clasp my head to your chest
Till every border of the world is destroyed
And a new homeland is discovered

— Poem by Jalal Nazari

TICKETS ARE CLOSED!!!!
Please head to our Youtube Channel and enjoy the live stream at 7:30PM AEST! https://tinyurl.com/PYTyoutube

PYT Fairfield presents
A Love Letter to our Watan

Tune in to an evening of vivid imagery and bold poetic gestures to bring light and acknowledge the rich culture and unity in our Afghan community. Your hosts, Bibi, Mahdi and Jawad will guide you as they share Persian poetry, history and stories, while opening the floor for verses to be performed by the audience.

In solidarity with the Afghan people, we bring you a glimmer of umeed: hope.

Welcome to Country Aunty Rhonda Dixon-Grovenor
Hosted by Mahdi Mohammadi, Bibi Goul Mossavi and Jawad Yaqoubi
Creative Team Mahdi Mohammadi, Bibi Goul Mossavi, Jawad Yaqoubi, Paul Dwyer, Sean Bacon, Gabriela Green Olea and Katy Green Loughrey

Date & Time Saturday, September 4 at 7:30pm
Where Online via Zoom
Cost FREE – Please consider donating to UNHCR’s Fundraising Campaign for Afghanistan.

Bookings essential as spaces are limited. Please book one ticket per household.

Recite a poem

We invite you to submit a poem to perform on the night. A handful of submissions will be selected by the artists. Please submit your poem when booking your ticket to the event. Poems can be up to 200 words.

Submissions for poems have now closed

You will be notified by Wednesday September 1 as to whether your poem has been selected. 

PYT Fairfield and the creative team acknowledge the enduring suffering and despair continuing in Afghanistan today and send our love and support to all of those who have been affected. Instead of purchasing a ticket to this event, please donate to UNHCR’s Fundraising Campaign for Afghanistan.

More about your hosts

Mahdi Mohammadi
Mahdi trained as a director at Kabul University. He co-founded Papyrus Theatre, which was awarded first prize at the Afghan National Theatre Festival, as well as touring to India and Sweden. In Australia, Mahdi has performed with the PYT Fairfield Ensemble and was a co-devisor/performer in PYT’s Tribunal.

Jawad Yaqoubi
Jawad runs a business as a plasterer, working on building sites all over Sydney. He worked as a male model and fitness trainer in Indonesia, before arriving in Australia and making his debut as a performer at Griffin Theatre in the premiere production of PYT’s Tribunal.

Bibi Goul Mossavi
Bibi trained in Media and Communications at Macquarie University and is currently pursuing postgraduate studies in psychology. She is a passionate advocate of women’s rights and equality and CALD representation in the performing arts space. As a performer with the PYT Fairfield Ensemble, she made a big splash in Swimming Pool, directed by Tessa Leong. Currently, Bibi works as a Programming Coordinator with the Sydney Opera House.


This project is proudly supported by the Australia Council for the Arts and the NSW Government through Create NSW.

Special thanks to the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Sydney for their support on this event.

Image Credit: Anna Kucera
Image Decription: Mahdi is on the left, wearing a navy blue suit with a poetry book in his left hand. He is laughing and looking at Bibi, who is standing in the middle smiling. She is wearing a beautiful copper Afghani dress and a beaded necklace. Next to her, on her right stands Jawad in a white and gold traditional Afghani wear. His arms are crossed and he too is laughing. They are standing out the front of PYT Fairfield, behind them the sun sets on Fairfield.

So, Lockdown 2.0 continues. We’re all back in our homes, in isolation, and so comes the flood of digital entertainment and activities to keep us all sane. But it’s overwhelming sometimes, and many of us are already feeling an impact on our mental health and wellbeing. 

So here’s PYT’s recommendations for content that will keep the positive vibes flowing.

We’ve also got a list of resources for financial and housing support too. Scroll down for more.

Let’s Get Physical!

Grumble Boogie

Who said lockdown couldn’t be fun? Thank your body and boogie with Betty Grumble every morning at 10am on twitch.

Click HERE to get your boogie on.

Free Yoga/Gentle Exercise – Fairfield Women

Ladies, pull out your favourite yoga pants because Fairfield Women’s Health Service is hosting a series of gentle yoga exercises for July – August.

Register HERE.

PYT’s Feel Good Playlist

What gets you moving? In Lockdown 2.0 we asked our staff and artists to send their favourite uplifting songs.

Jam with us HERE.

Meditation & Mental Health

Iso-somatic Sessions – Dance Makers Collective

Iso-somatic Sessions is a series of short meditations led by some of Australia’s best movement practitioners, designed to be taken with headphones on, in your own time, in the comfort of your own home.

Download a session HERE.

Morning Meditation with Esky

For the early risers, start your morning right. Join Esky every Mon-Fri at 6am on Insta Live for a guided meditation session.

Start your early mornings HERE

Inspo Nights hosted by The Western

Let’s talk Mental Health. If there was ever a more important time to take care of yourself it’s now. Join counsellors Laura Ranola and Esky every Wednesday at 7.30pm on Insta Live and learn about ways to manage your mental well-being.

Let’s talk about Mental Health, Baby! Right HERE

Develop a new skill

Street Uni Live
Free podcast, art and exercise workshops via the Street University app. Download the app to get started.

More Info

Writing Workshop

Join a free writing workshop from our friends at Story Factory – Don’t have internet? Story Factory offers SIMS and data for you to participate.

More Info

Make New Friends

Over 18’s Zoom Hangout

Participate Australia is running a range of zoom hangouts to support all abilities individual’s and their families during lockdown with a range of fun activities over the weekend. Register via contact details below.
E: bookings@participateaustralia.com.au
P: 9799 4333

15-20 year old Zoom Hangout

Join Ladder Step up Sydney for a game of Trivia, Value sessions and an online fitness class.

More Info 


Unfortunately for some of us, Lockdown poses a situation where our basic needs are not being met. If you’re in need of food, money, shelter or mental health support please find information on important services below. 

We’ve compiled your needs under two categories: Physiological and Safety. Click on the links to be directed to more information.

We recognise this is a tough time for south-west Sydney. Stay safe, stay connected and seek help.

If you or anyone you know needs help please contact Headspace Australia or Lifeline 13 11 14.


Image Credits and Descriptions

Image 1

Credit: Courtesy of Betty Grumble, taken by Oliver Thompson
Description: Betty Grumble is dressed in a white baggy shirt with her logo on it, dark leggings with fluffy ankle socks and a fluffy thick headpiece. She is doing various boogie poses in a black and white collage featuring nine images.

Image 2

Credit: taken from Dance Makers Collective Website – Miranda Wheen. Image by Ashley McLellan
Description: Black and white image, Miranda Wheen’s back is to the camera, they are wearing a singlet with their hands behind their head.

Image 3

Credit: taken from @the.western Instagram account – Inspo Nights
Description: Black and white collage, two headshots – Laura Nola is on the left, she is wearing black overalls over a dark sweater and has her hand on her cheek. Esky is on the right side, he is wearing a white t-shirt and has glasses on. In the bottom middle there is some text in bubble pink ‘INSPO NIGHTS’ and below it in smaller white text it says, ‘INSTAGRAM LIVE WEDNESDAY 7:30PM’

Image 4

Credit: taken from Street University website
Image Description: black and white image, there are eight cartoon characters, four on the right and three on the left. In the middle there is text, ‘THE STREET UNIVERSITY’ is in block white text and below it inside a yellow border reads, ‘Live’ written in running white writing.


Crashing, splintering, and exploding – we collide.

Collision is a new theatre work by the queer, disabled and groovy duo – Low Standards, otherwise known as twins Bedelia Lowrenčev and Jeremy Lowrenčev.
 Screen, stories, Australian Sign Language, and dance all come together to explore multiple marginalised worlds.

Collision is a deep dive into the intersection of Queerness and Disability, and what it means to ricochet between the two. It is difference and togetherness through the micro and macro, from Bedelia and Jeremy’s ‘twin-dom’, to the culture and dynamics of entire communities. It is Bedelia and Jeremy’s stories, in their ways. 

Collision. It’s Disabled, it’s Queer, it is a confetti cannon of pride, and most of all, it is learning to own your own colliding supernova funk.

Co-Creators/ Performers Bedelia Lowrenčev and Jeremy Lowrenčev
Mentor/ Dramaturg Felicity Nicol
Cinematographer Lily Drummond
Sound Designer Riana Head-Toussaint
Producer PYT Fairfield

Development History
2021 – PYT Fairfield, year-long residency
2020 – PYT Fairfield, 2 weeks

ARTIST BIOS

Bedelia Lowrenčev – Co-Creator/Director/Performer
Bedelia is a groovy, disabled performer, dancer, and theatre maker from Western Sydney. Currently, Bedelia is preparing for her performance of ‘Bagatelle’ with The House That Dan Built, and undertaking activism work with Women With Disabilities Victoria, and Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) for the Disability Royal Commission. Since wrapping up her mentorship with Anthea Williams last year, Bedelia has most recently worked on ‘Dear Australia’ at the EDGE GREENWAY Festival, trained with choreographer, Riana Head-Toussaint, and performed in the social media frenzy, ‘All That I am Right Now’ with FORM Dance Projects. Besides this, Bedelia is indulging in Aqua Zumba with her twin brother, and knitting poorly.

Jeremy Lowrenčev – Co-Creator/Director/Performer
Jeremy Lowrenčev is a proud deaf artist from Western Sydney, who is determined to intertwine the Australian Deaf Culture with the Australian Arts Culture. His passion for expression, creativity and messing with social norms is shown through his credits.
Jeremy’s recent credits include ‘Scarecrow’ in HMDS’s production of ‘Wizard of Oz’, and ‘Dear Australia’ with Spark Youth Theatre as part of the Greenway EDGE festival. Previously, Jeremy took on the title role of ‘Sam Newton’ in the film, ‘Illustrating Sam Newton’, directed by award-winning Lily Drummond. Realising the significant effect of playing one’s true self and owning your disability and identity, Jeremy strives for Deaf inclusion and authentic representation in theatre, film and cultural events.

Felicity Nicol – Mentor/Dramaturg
Felicity Nicol is an award-winning Performance Director and Artistic Director from Sydney, Australia. A graduate of NIDA, she has gone on to work with some of the most prominent artists around the world, including Ontroerend Goed (BEL), Punchdrunk & Gecko Physical Theatre (UK), Illutron (DEN) and Mammalian Diving Reflex (CAN). Felicity holds a particular interest in working with young people, specifically queer young people & young people experiencing mental health issues. This interest has led her to working with Spark Youth Theatre & Australian Theatre for Young People (AUS), Mit Ohnes Alles (GER), The Torontonians (CAN) and Company3 (UK).

Riana Head-Touissant – Sound Designer
Riana Head-Toussaint is an interdisciplinary disabled artist. She employs choreography, performance, video, sound design and immersive/participatory instillation to create works that interrogate entrenched structures and ways of thinking; and advocate for social change. 


COLLISION- a production by LOW Standards is proudly supported by the Australian Council for the Arts, ANZ Australia and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras through ANZ & Sydney Mardi Gras Community Grants, Fairfield City Council and PYT Fairfield.

Image Credit: Anna Kucera

PYT Fairfield is the only professional theatre company in Western Sydney focused on the development and engagement of local young and emerging artists as our core practice.

It is with much sadness that PYT Fairfield announces the resignations of Karen Therese, Artistic Director and Katy Green Loughrey, Executive Director.

Karen has resigned as Artistic Director effective of 28 May 2021, and will work as a freelance director to complete the development of Action Star in time for its premiere later this year.

Katy has resigned as Executive Director but has agreed to stay on as a consultant in a caretaker capacity for three months until 4 September 2021 to support PYT’s staff, ensemble and residents artists.

Enormous talents in their own right, Karen and Katy have built upon PYT Fairfield’s long history of asserting and celebrating Australia as a culturally diverse nation.

Under the leadership of Karen and Katy, PYT Fairfield grew to be a brave and transformative theatre company that makes urgent work that explores the critical issues of our times. With its feet firmly on Western Sydney soil, PYT Fairfield now presents award-wining work across Australia including at the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Festival, Arts House Melbourne and Adelaide Festival Centre. A HELPMANN Award and nomination, a SMAC Award, and an Australian Dance Award are but three testaments to their vision, passion, and wholehearted dedication to the diverse cultures, communities and artists on our doorstep.

PYT Fairfield remains committed to the development and engagement of local young and emerging artists. In light of these announcements, we will take the opportunity to reimagine the way in which we respond to the needs and aspirations of the next generation of artists. We will shortly reach out to our community and relevant stakeholders to discuss the optimum structure of PYT Fairfield for the future.

PYT Board

Image Credit: Alex Wisser

1. PLAYLIST / BERSAMA – Even though we lost our PLAYLIST tour, we gained six collaborators and friends from Indonesia. We engaged in an online collaboration with Bersama Jakarta and created a beautiful music video. 

2.  2020 ENSEMBLE – surviving the apocalypse because of Donna Abela’s seven week RESILIENCE AND DEVOTIONAL arts practice workshop on ZOOM during NSW’s toughest Covid-19 restriction period.

3. Dorr-e Dari: A Poetic Crash Course in the Language of Love was announced as part of the 2021 Sydney Festival – Buy your tickets HERE!

4.  We hired a new full time ProducerLouisa Minutillo – a Virgo and the perfect compliment to our team.

5.  FUNPARK produced a kick-ass eight-week digital festival supporting artists and the community of Mt Druitt.

6. Three new residency projects by PYT Artists – Bedelia Lowrencev & Jeremy Lowrencev, Josipa Draisma & Mara Knezevic and Keith Robinson presented two live developments showings to an intimate audience.

7.  Action star – Rebooted! For the first time PYT live-streamed our showing.

8.  PYT started a new major project the PIONEERS – stay tuned for more news on this work in 2021!

9.  PYT was able to secure four-year funding, locking in our short and long term future …phew! 

10. PYT Hub – We turned our studio space into an artist’s hub, so now PYT artists can hang for as long as they like; hot desks, micro cinema experiences, or just creative couch time – we got you! 

Written by
Karen Therese
Artistic Director.

Image Credit: Anna Kucera
Project: PIONEERS

Erin Middleton is an emerging writer, PYT Ensemble member and assistant tutor for our after-school PILOTS program.

In late 2019, she began the development of her new full-length play MONSTER. With PYT’s support, Erin received mentorship and dramaturgical support from Anthea Williams on her play and this week, the play will have its first reading.

Erin shares her experience of the mentorship below.

WORKING WITH ANTHEA WILLIAMS ON MONSTER

In 2019, I wrote and produced my first one-act play, Kallistei, as part of the Sydney Fringe Festival. I’d been supported throughout the year with space, conversation, and people by PYT Fairfield. Myself, my co-producer, some actors, and the director were all current or past members of PYT’s Ensemble, which supports emerging artists in a year-long program.

After seeing Kallistei on stage, I was approached by Karen Therese, PYT’s Artistic Director, to talk about my development as a writer, and how PYT could support me in the next stage of my artistic practice.

I have been extremely lucky and grateful over the past few months to be supported by PYT Fairfield with a mentorship from Anthea Williams.

Anthea is a Director, Dramaturg, and Developer, and like me, she is disabled. I cannot stress enough the significance of learning from, and working with, someone who can appreciate my own lived experience. It has brought another layer to this mentorship, beyond the play I’ve been writing, helping to embolden and brighten my ambitions for a life in the arts.

My mentorship with Anthea has focused on the writing of a new work, titled Monster. Monster is my second one-act play, and like the first (Kallistei) it retells Ancient Greek myth with women’s voices at the centre.

Anthea and I first met late last year, and have continued to meet every month or so since then. With the impact of COVID-19, Anthea and I took to meeting online (meaning my mentor was in New Zealand while I was in Sydney!) and I would email her drafts as they emerged after each session of feedback. We’re now planning a development reading for Monster, generously supported by PYT, which will allow me to hear the play spoken aloud by a group of actors for the first time. There’ll be more conversations, more edits, and a final draft, before finally a public reading to introduce Monster to the theatre world.

Working with Anthea has been the best writing experience of my life. I have been supported at every stage, from inception to final drafts, and Anthea’s enthusiasm for the work has only made mine greater. Having a mentor means having someone to encourage you; to tell you when things are good, and when they’re really not; to make you question and consider; and to make you dig out the things you’re really trying to say, to get them on the page and discard the drab. Anthea has done all of this and more, and I know without a doubt that Monster would not be where it is today without her guidance.

– Written by Erin Middleton

MORE ABOUT MONSTER
On the rocky island of Sarpedon, Medusa and her sisters Stheno and Euryale live out their days reading poems from Sappho, cooking scrambled eggs, and scaring off the men who come to kill them. They’re after Medusa – the monstrous gorgon of myth, with snakes for hair and eyes that turn men to stone. But the woman who crashes onto their island in the middle of a storm isn’t after the monster, and doesn’t believe in her at all. Can Sofia be trusted? Or will she bring everything crashing down with her? 

Image courtesy of Erin Middleton

We are seeking a Deputy Chair and General Board Member to join the team at PYT Fairfield during an exciting time of growth and transition.

These positions are best suited to seasoned arts business professionals and industry leaders with previous Board experience. We are seeking individuals who are passionate, skilled, and self-motivated, with a proven track record in strategy development and change management.

For more information about the roles and how to express your interest, click HERE.

Expressions of interest are due Monday 21st September.

For all queries, please contact PYT Executive Director Katy Green Loughrey on katy@pyt.com.au

Image Credit: Daniel Boud

Transcending time zones, lockdown restrictions and filmed by each artist using just their mobiles, Playlist Bersama explores the lived experience of young women across two distinct cultures and all that they have in common.

Throughout May 2020, during the peak of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Playlist Bersama brought together 12 artists and performers from across Australia and Indonesia to collaborate on the production of a brand new video work.

Direction/Choreography Larissa McGowen
Co-Devisors & Performers Ningrum Syaukat, Rummana Yamanie, Kartika Jahja, Ebube Uba, Mara Knezevic, Tasha O’Brien, May Tran, Neda Taha, Larissa McGowen with Kate Armstrong Smith and Karen Therese.
Editor Kate Blackmore
More Info PYT Playlist, Bersama Project

We asked the artists to tell us what they took out of the experience and here is what they said:

Despite the physical distance, I grew very close to Tika, Rummana and Ningrum and listening to their stories and experiences deeply impacted and enriched my perspective on female artists.
Mara Knezevic (Performer, Australia)

Working with an all-female team is already phenomenal, but for me, being able to learn from older, more experienced South-East Asian artists was beyond rewarding, beyond words.
May Tran (Performer, Australia)

We need to be sensitive to and listen openly to other cultures as people have different lived experiences and we can’t expect people to react to things in the same way we do when we’ve all had different upbringings and different values instilled in us.
Tasha O’Brien (Performer, Australia)

It was a mind opening for me to hear from women with various cultural backgrounds. It was not just a project, it was a knowledgeable place and one place that I didn’t fear being myself.
Ningrum Syaukat (Performer, Indonesia)

It has brought to light the truth behind the vulnerabilities we hold quietly and validated the need to connect and discuss with women of all cultures, backgrounds and experiences.
Larissa McGowan (Choreographer, Australia)

Bersama translates to together, or ‘in collaboration’. I want people to see the creative and emotional bond between these women, despite us being oceans apart and isolated from one another.
Kartika Jahja (Performer, Indonesia)

Playlist Bersama is an international partnership between PYT Fairfield (Australia) and the BERSAMA Foundation (Indonesia).


PYT Fairfield is proudly supported by the Australian Council for the Arts and the NSW Government through Create NSW.

Image Credit: Film Still from Playlist Bersama