Nautanki Theatre Company continues to shine a spotlight on diaspora voices

Nautanki Theatre Company

Nautanki Theatre Company continues to shine a spotlight on diaspora voices

Nautanki Theatre Company is once again bringing the South Asian Theatre Festival to Parramatta’s Riverside Theatres, in an effort to shine a light on South Asian theatre and stories in Australia.

Featuring plays by Bengali, Tamil, and Sri Lankan Burgher community groups, the theatre festival will treat viewers to three 30-minute, engaging stories on October 24-25, 2019.

Production Coordinator Reema Gillani said although each play is very different, the Theatre Festival allows the various community groups to collectively interact with each other, both on stage and in the audience.

“All three plays are really different in their presentation, their content, their language and their stories,” Reema explained.

The beauty of theatre is that you can understand the story without being able to understand the language.

The South Asian Theatre Festival was first launched in 2016 by the Nautanki Theatre Company, and since then the Festival has seen hundreds of audience members delight in the colour of community theatre.

Nautanki Theatre Company

Nautanki Theatre Company was first formed in 2012 by Indian-Australian Neel Banerjee, the current Creative Director of the organisation, in an effort to work towards cultural development, community engagement, education and training through live performing theatre.

Named after a form of roving theatre originating in North India, Nautanki Theatre Company hopes to increase the representation of South Asian and make community theatre more accessible to everyone in Sydney.

“In mainstream Australia, theatre is not a very approachable art form, so what we are producing and presenting is very relatable and accessible,” Reema said.

The South Asian diaspora forms such a big part of the population but there is zero representation on the TV, in film or in theatre, so if we don’t tell our stories, then who will?

“We feel our stories need to be told and and we need to be heard and seen as well.”

The three plays featured in this year’s edition of the South Asian Theatre Festival are:

  • Tamil play – Penn (Woman)
  • English play from Sri Lanka – The Education of Miss Asia
  • Bengali play – Devi Sarpamastha (The Serpent Goddess)

Nautanki Theatre Company

Fourth South Asian Theatre Festival
WHEN: October 24-25, 2019 8-11pm
WHERE: Riverside Theatres, Parramatta
COST: $18 – $22
More information HERE

Anisha Mistry

As the Editor of CulturalPulse, Anisha is passionate about listening to, writing and sharing stories of Australia's multicultural achievement. Got a story to tell? Get in touch: [email protected]