This June one of arTour's most ambitious and significant tours hits the red dirt road. JUTE Theatre Company's Proppa Solid will tour for five months to 18 communities from Palm Island to Bamaga and Cook Town to Mount Isa. This hilarious new comedy will be supported by four-day artist residencies and is set to make a big impact in some tiny towns.
ABC Black Comedy’s star, Stephen Oliver has penned a riotous comedy that tells the story of Australia's first Aboriginal president as he inadvertently travels back through time from 2067 to the present day to be confronted by a different Australia, and some very funny ancestors who teach him a thing or two about his roots.
In the tradition of Bran Nue Dae, The Sapphires, Redfern Now and Mabo; Proppa Solid joins a rapidly growing genre of contemporary Aboriginal story-telling which has an irresistibly wide appeal.
The work, which premiered in Cairns in 2014, was initially inspired when JUTE Theatre Company was approached by the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships (DATSIP) about developing a project that would use theatre to celebrate Indigenous success stories. Key to the development of the play was the telling of personal success stories by First Peoples from this region.
"It was a privilege to witness the energy and uplifting stories told during that session on the first day", says Playwright Steven Oliver, who then captured the key elements of these inspiring stories to form the basis of the play.
Steven Oliver has written an inspirational future vision of the Republic of Australia. His dialogue crackles with black humour and hope, and the meeting of present with future results in some highly entertaining moments as the esteemed president Paul Toppy encounters a past he'd rather forget, along the way discovering the true meaning of success and family.
Proppa Solid will tour to 18 locations (16 schools and 2 performance venues) in regional and remote North Queensland from June through to October. In 16 of the locations the project will begin with the show being performed in the school/community giving the young people an opportunity to feel inspired by seeing a reflection of themselves in both performer and story on stage. Following this the artists will remain in the school/community for 3-4 days where they will work with the young people to write, rehearse and perform their own aspirational stories of success back to their community.
The project is integrated into the curriculum by the Department of Education and Training, forming part of the assessment for students.
Featuring an all Aboriginal cast and creative team this project has the potential to change young lives in regional and remote Queensland by placing skills development and performance making at the centre of learning within a positive, highly enjoyable environment.
Proppa Solid was developed and produced by JUTE Theatre Company, and the tour is made possible by the generous support of the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation.
This tour is supported by The Playing Queensland Fund and arTour, initiatives of the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, part of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet.
This project is supported by the Queensland Government through the Department of Education and Training and Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.