Indigenous Playwrights Speak

Dr Gordon Bronitsky,
David Velarde,
Sam Cook
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Indigenous peoples are the First peoples of the world—American Indian, Inuit (Eskimo), Maori, Australian Aboriginal and more. In their own histories, they have been here since the beginning. Yet all too often, their voices have gone unheard, their stories presented by others. As a result,

1. Non-Indigenous peoples have had very limited opportunities to experience authentic Indigenous contemporary performances and visual arts experiences

2. Public and scholarly audiences interested in experiencing, exploring and comparing contemporary Indigenous theater have been restricted by funding and geography

3. Indigenous theater has all too often been limited to comparatively small and local audiences

4. Misinformation about Indigenous peoples has often prevailed in the majority culture in many lands, due to distortions of commercial media, isolation of Indigenous communities, stereotypes, and the inability of urban residents to access Indigenous communities.

Keywords: Indigenous Theater Playwrights
Stream: Meaning and Representation
Presentation Type: Panel Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr Gordon Bronitsky

President, Main Office, Bronitsky and Associates

For the last ten years, I have been founder/president of Bronitsky and Associates. At Bronitsky and Associates, we see around us a world that is in many ways growing smaller, more connected and more homogenous. Groups and artists around the world want to preserve and develop their culture and heritage and voices on their own terms in the new millennium; others want to experience new ways of seeing the world. The audience for cultural diversity is wider than anyone has imagined so far. The best way to understand our work is in terms of two principles. The first is a business principle--one stop shopping. Whether one is Indigenous, Canadian, Australian, American, European, etc, generally we know who makes it, who does it, who wants it, sometimes how to make them want it, sometimes how to find the funding. The second is a philosophical principle. Indigenous people choose the message. Whether the message is a very traditional Navajo music/dance group, an Australian Aboriginal rock band, a Navajo designer (and we've worked with all three), our job is not to tinker with the message, adding a feather here and a feather there. Our job is to CRANK UP THE VOLUME!

David Velarde


Sam Cook

Executive Producer, Yirra Yaakin Noongar Theatre

Ref: A06P0034