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The Three Trees Project: Gujarla (The Other Side)

Media Release: April 21, 2010 in Arts, Indigenous, Theatre |

Three Trees Project actorsThe Three Trees Project: Gujarla (the other side) is a Pilbara based community storytelling event dealing with aspects of the social history of Roebourne. It is an initiative of the Michael Leslie Foundation for the Performing Arts.

Using songs and stories drawn from the heart of Roebourne, the Three Trees Project celebrates the resilience and strength of the Ngarluma, Yindjibardi, Punjima and Kurrama people. Like most country towns, Roebourne has had its share of hard luck, perhaps more, but this is a story of understanding and healing, and not despair.

The team is comprised of Director Scott Rankin (Ngapartji Ngapartji, Namatjira); Choreographer Michael Leslie (Bran Nue Dae, Mimis) Actors: Trevor Jamieson (Ngapartji Ngapartji, Namatjira) and Ursula Yovich (Australia, Black Arm Band) Music Directors: Steve Richter (Mr Sister, Tetrafide Percussion) and Melanie Robinson (Mr Sister, Black Arm Band) Dramaturge/writer: Dickon Oxenburgh (Merry-Go-Round in the Sea).

This workshop marks a special occasion for Michael as Trevor and Ursula’s first steps in the performing arts were made under his guidance at the WAAPA Aboriginal Music Theatre Training Program. Now Michael is teaching a new generation of Pilbara youth who are keen to gain from the pair, insights into professional life in the performing arts. Also, although leaders in community performing arts, this is the first time that Scott and Michael have worked together and represents an exciting new development.

During the workshop and with the participation of members of the community, Scott, Trevor and Ursula will develop performance approaches to the workshop draft and present them for comment. In consultation with Indigenous musicians and song custodians Steve and Melanie will explore Tjabi a local song style, weave soundscapes and underscore performance sequences

Michael Leslie is an internationally recognised professional dancer, choreographer and arts specialist. He has made a unique and lasting contribution to the development of the performing arts in Australia.

Dickon Oxenburgh is the team dramaturge and writer. Dickon has extensive experience in the performing arts and his work has been performed by the Perth Festival (now PIAF) four times.

Scott Rankin is known for his work in comedy, mainstream theatre, experimental community based projects, film and television. His work has been included in Tasmania, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Edinburgh Festivals and his plays have set box office records and received exceptional reviews.

Trevor Jamieson: Trevor is experienced in both theatre and film and has a charisma and style that is absolutely stunning. He has been involved in theatre and film since 1991 and in addition to his work with Scott he has contributed to notable productions such as Burning Daylight by the Stalker Theatre Co, Yandy by Black Swan Theatre Company and Rabbit Proof Fence by Jabal Films.

Ursula Yovich: This beautiful and uniquely talented songbird hails from the mystical ancient lands of Australia’s remote far north. In 2007 Ursula won a Helpmann Award for Best Female Actor in a Play for Company B’s production of Capricornia and in 2009 was nominated for a Helpmann Award for Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical for her role in Jerry Springer the Opera.

Based in the Pilbara (NW Western Australia) the Foundation is a not-for-profit arts organization that gives training and performance opportunities in the performing arts to Pilbara youth and their communities. These opportunities assist in the development of self-esteem and efficacy.

The Foundation wishes to thank its founding partner Rio Tinto Ltd and its development and production partners: the Department for Culture and the Arts (WA), the Australia Council, Country Arts WA and the Regional Arts Fund, the Pilbara Development Commission and Healthway.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

  • Community Workshop/Reading: Roebourne April 19–24
  • Production Workshop: Roebourne November 15–27 TBC
  • Production: Roebourne & PIAF Feb 18–25 TBC
  • East Coast Tour: 2011–2012 TBC

Media Enquiries

Emma Collison Publicity, 02 9362 9700, 0418 584 795, emma@emmacollison.com