Following last year’s successful Pitches & Tea events and the quality and the capability of the presenting artists, Mounties has generously awarded PYT an additional $10,000 to deliver four more residencies. 

Pitches and Tea is PYT’s brand new community program for young and/or emerging local artists to drop in and “test” and “pitch” their creative ideas-in-progress in a professional setting. Following this event one artist was chosen for further development. Last year’s recipient of the Pitches & Tea program was Tison Brown. Read more about that here.

The four additional residencies have been awarded to:

Varuna Naicker

Varuna Naicker is a writer and director that showcases diverse narratives which have freedom, edginess, and authenticity. She is a Fijian-Indian writer from Penrith, immigrating to Australia when her parents moved from Fiji in 1999. Some of her interests include exploring intergenerational family evolution and concepts of individualism vs. community. Common themes in their work include immigrant experiences, family, female relationships, and exploring diaspora communities in Australia. She is a writer for Sweatshop Literacy Movement, and Storycasters, and has a Bachelor of Communications (majoring in Media Arts and Production/Social and Political Science) from the University of Technology, Sydney. Varuna was also a mentor the Cultivate Dramaturgy program and is currently dramaturg on a theatre project in development. 

About the work

Love is in crisis and like many faulty products, it’s left a gap in the market. The piece will play with ideas about how love is an important addition to our societal fabric, and how it is much more tangible and political than commonly thought. It will use Bollywood influences and cheeky otherworldly characters to create a message that calls everyone from everywhere in, begging us all to love a little harder before it becomes too late for us to love at all.

Adrian Mouhajer

Adrian Mouhajer is a queer non-binary Lebanese-Australian writer and editor from Lakemba. They have performed their poetry for Bankstown Poetry Slam, Queerstories, Eulogy for the Dyke Bar and Cement Fondu’s Listen & Linger.

Their work has been published with Hardie Grant Books, SBS Voices, Aniko Press and Diversity Arts Australia. They were shortlisted for the 2022 SBS Emerging Writers Competition and the 2021 Sydney Opera House Antidote Mentorship for Diverse Emerging Writers. From there, Adrian edited their first anthology, Stories Out West, which centres LGBTIQ+ First Nations writers and writers of colour with a connection to Western Sydney. Adrian is currently working on their debut essay and poetry collection.

About the work

Done with Donne: Unveiling Diverse Voices in Poetry aims to explore the rich tapestry of global poetry from poets of diverse cultural backgrounds. It’s a 12-episode series, each episode dedicated to one poet whose writing would have existed in the same era as John Donne.

Yvan Karezi

Yvan Karezi is a Kurdish-Australian Actor and multi-disciplinary Artist. In her work, Yvan is particularly fascinated with exploring the nuances of human expression, focusing on themes of the lived ‘real life’ human experience, as well as the human condition in abstract or fantastical settings. She is inspired by history, mythology, the natural world, fantasy and fictional creations. Yvan is a firm believer that artistic expression can be found everywhere and anywhere, and should be accessible to everyone.

About the work

The narrative follows a Jinni and their accidental emancipation amidst the contemporary landscapes of modern-day Australia. A thought-provoking theatre piece that explores individual and collective identity, intertwining history, heritage, belonging and connection. Through performance, dance, music, multimedia, and visual effects, it hopes to immerse the audience in an entertaining and transformative experience.

Fairfield Poetry Slam

In the heart of Fairfield, three remarkably gifted individuals converge, each a luminary in the realms of poetry and creative writing, united by a singular vision. With words that resonate, dance, and haunt, they are poised to breathe life into the Fairfield Poetry Slam—a venture born of their collective desire to awaken dormant talents and kindle the artistic spirit within their community. Their verses, like tendrils of emotion, span the spectrum from raw vulnerability to unbridled imagination, fusing cultures, histories, and dreams into a harmonious mosaic of human experience. As architects of inspiration, they envision the slam as a sanctuary for emerging talents, inviting them to share their stories and voices without reservation. Bound by a shared commitment, these four creators are on the precipice of transforming Fairfield into a haven where art flourishes, conversations flourish, and the power of creativity cascades through the tapestry of local life.

The Pitches and Tea program and residencies is made possible by the generous support of Mounties.