It’s 1976. Howzat’s No.1 on the charts. Industries are booming and it’s the migrant women cashing in. Pavica, a young Croatian mother is dressed in her crisp white uniform, smiling proudly on the production line, elbows deep in chicken carcass, loving her new Australian life.

The Hen House is a new music theatre work weaving extraordinary, humorous, and tragic multi-lingual stories of female migrant factory workers from Western Sydney with distinctly live and loud original music nodding towards Australian pub-rock bands of the time.

A fierce, funny, and electrifying experience, The Hen House elevates diverse women’s voices as powerful and hugely significant to Australia’s social and economic history.

Co-Creators/ Performers Josipa Draisma, Mara Knezevic, Sime Knezevic
Director Anthea Williams
Musical Director Zeljko Papic
Designer Isabel Hudson
Lighting Designer Elyse Drenth
Producer PYT Fairfield

Development History
2023 – PYT Fairfield, 6 weeks
2021 – PYT Fairfield, 2 weeks
2020 – PYT Fairfield, 2 weeks


Josipa Draisma – Co-Creator/Performer
Josipa is an award-winning interdisciplinary performing artist and cultural leader working across theatre, music, cabaret, and comedy. Her original work has been programmed across national comedy and arts festivals in
Australia including Sydney Comedy Festival, Melbourne Comedy Festival, Melbourne Cabaret Festival and Adelaide Fringe Festival.

Mara Knežević – Co-Creator/Performer
Mara Knežević is a theatre-maker, performer, and singer-songwriter. She co-creates music under MARA DUKE and has released music on major platforms since 2015. She is an ongoing member of the female/non-binary
collective All Girl Electronic based in Parramatta. Her credits include the Helpmann Award nominated dance-theatre work PLAYLIST (dir. Karen Therese, PYT Fairfield, 2017).

THE HEN HOUSE is proudly supported by the Australian Council for the Arts, the NSW Government through Create NSW and Fairfield City Council.

Image Credit: Anna Kucera