ORA | mate

Black Birds (NSW)

  • Open captioning
  • Wheelchair access
  • Blaktix
  • Green Tickets

A Next Wave x PACT co-commission

Presented by Darebin Arts Speakeasy 

In 1886, Aotearoa’s Mount Tarawera erupted. Indigenous understandings take the eruption as punishment for the exploitation of the mountain for tourist trade. 134 years later, it’s still being exploited as a tourist destination.

In this intercultural and interdisciplinary theatre work, Black Birds explore how Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge systems can co-function to understand, predict, and prevent looming large-scale environmental disasters.

Using theatre, poetry, dance, video, and music to story-tell, ORA | mate travels through time and language to challenge the dichotomy of nature and the human race. It asks us to think ourselves as with and of nature, instead of dominant over it. How can modern science and ancient knowledges collaborate in a world calling to be healed?

Content Warnings

This production contains theatrical haze effects, dynamic sound and lighting. It also contains mature themes and some coarse language.   

Mature themes: themes relating to abuse of power and privilege, themes of racism and references to racism and references to oppression.  

Mature themes: references to current environmental, cultural and political issues which may cause distress to some audience members. 

Audience will be required to wash/rinse their hands with water and take off their shoes upon entering the performance space.

Audiences should also note that this production makes references to Māori peoples who have passed, and may references Indigenous peoples from Te Moana Nui a Kiwi and Australia who have passed. 

Read more (possible spoilers)…

ORA l mate is a Next Wave X PACT co-commission and is supported by Darebin Arts Speakeasy. Originally developed through the High/Way234 program with support of PACT, PYT | Fairfield & Q Theatre Company (The Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre)

Black Birds would like to pay respect to the traditional custodians of the land on which this work was created, rehearsed and performed: the Gadigal peoples of the Eora Nation, the Dharug and Cabrogal peoples of the Darug Nation, and the First Peoples of the Kulin Nation. Nā mihi a Ngāti Rangitihi for the privilege toshare the tāhuhu kōrero of Maunga Tarawera.

Directed by Ayeesha Ash
Movement direction by Sela Val
Created and performed by: Ayeesha Ash, Stelly G, Mel Ree and Sela Vai
Original development with: Ayeesha Ash, Stelly G, Sela Vai, Vanessa Varghese and Emele Ugavule. 

Black Birds is a creative arts company which was founded in 2015 by Ayeesha Ash & Emele Ugavule. The company is led by Artistic Director, Ayeesha Ash, with support from Associate Artist, Sela Vai.  

Black Birds was created as a response to the lack of representation & misrepresentation of Womxn of Colour in the Australian arts. With each project, creatives are invited to collaborate on works that dissect and document the female Black and Brown diasporic experience in Australia through art and performance in a variety of mediums and spaces – both theatrical and non-theatrical. Their shows and events have sold out in Melbourne, Sydney and New Zealand and have been shown as far as Barbados. Black Birds prides itself on making work that is intersectional, interdisciplinary and intercultural. They strive to create work that is culturally, financially and physically accessible; work that challenges the norm and starts the conversation.