National Theatre of Parramatta (NTofP) – Staging the World

A resident at the Riverside Theatres, The National Theatre of Parramatta (NTofP) launched its operation in 2015. The company aims to reflect multicultural Australia on stage, with particular focus on ethnic and socio-economic diversity. As an arm of Riverside Theatres, NTofP commissions, creates, produces, presents and tours work. They are equally committed to capacity building and nurturing talent by providing opportunities for theatre practitioners both on and off stage to develop their craft. NTofP is creating and presenting transformative and inspirational professional theatre experiences that reflect the world around them and the diversity that is Australia. Their tagline – ‘Putting the Nation on Stage’.

The Girgensohn Foundation is supporting a new initiative Staging the World, an intensive skills development program for artists, to work with and receive mentorship from international BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of colour) creatives who have significant experience, knowledge, networks and profiles. They will assist developing artists in Australia forge strong professional careers. One aim is to advance the participants’ understanding of organisational structures around the theatre world and how to navigate these, eg vocabulary, negotiating, how the theatre world operates in different countries, similarities and differences. Another goal is raising visibility of Australian artists. Additional workshops and talks will be offered to the broader community in order to more broadly share the expertise of guest artists.

The guest artist for 2023 is one of the world’s leading playwrights, Tarrel Alvin McCraney, Chair and Professor in the Practice of Playwriting at Yale School of Drama, Connecticut USA. Five emerging playwrights were selected to be involved in an intense two-week mentorship with Tarrel. Feedback from the participants was very positive, even exceeding their expectation. Quote: “I had no idea what to expect and I’m glad none of my half-formed expectations were met. Instead, I got something completely different and much better.”

During his stay in Australia Tarrel’s ground-breaking play Choir Boy was performed at the NTofP. The production was a huge success and provided an opportunity for most of the cast of people of colour to perform for the first time on a main stage.