Sydney Theatre Company (STC) / White Pearl / 2021 / 2022

STC has a proud heritage as a creative hub and incubator for Australian theatre-makers. Through a number of different programs, they provide professional development opportunities, access to key personnel and resources, and encouragement and support of emerging talent in the industry.

White Pearl by Anchuli Felicia King, a young Asian-Australian, is a ruthless entertaining portrait of toxic corporate culture, casual racism and the complexity of pan-Asian relations. As the team at ‘Clearday’ scrambles to contain the fallout from a leaked TV commercial gone viral for all the wrong reasons, the open-plan, glass-door office proves to be a nest of secrets, lies and resentments.

White Pearl is a new Australian work developed by Playwriting Australia. It was first presented  as part of STC’s 2019 main stage season in a co-production with the National Theatre of Parramatta (NTofP). The aim was to broaden STC’s audience reach by being accessible to audiences currently under-represented at the company’s harbour side venues.

Based on this successful co-production and extremely positive reviews by audiences and critics alike, White Pearl was performed as part of the OzAsia Festival in Adelaide (2021). Due to Covid-19 the planned 2021 performances at the STC Wharf had to be postponed to March 2022 (some new cast members).

This play creates a valuable platform for new voices and artists with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. Casting was very specific as the script detailed the ethnic and cultural background of each character. Twenty artists and creatives worked on this highly energetic production, directed Priscilla Jackman. For six of the original cast members, White Pearl marked their STC’s main stage debut. The cast was voted ‘Best Ensemble’ at the 2019 Sydney Theatre Awards.

The Girgensohn Foundation was the ‘Supporting Outreach Patron’ for this play in 2019 and supported the STC production as ‘Supporters of New Australian Writing’ in 2022.