Throughout Australia’s history, an unknown number of Indigenous children have been forcibly removed from their families. Parents driven mad, grandparents heartbroken, siblings torn apart, language lost, and culture stripped away. Using testimonials from the Stolen Generations, Noongar man Ian Michael invites you to listen in on the silenced stories of this country.

She Said Theatre's HART is a one-man verbatim theatre performance based on testimonials and interviews recorded with four Noongar men who identify as survivors of the Stolen Generations, including creator/performer Ian Michael himself. HART weaves together these four men’s stories, jumping back and forth in time, illustrating that the impacts of the Stolen Generations are ongoing, part of an inter-generational cycle of trauma and loss that continue to affect Indigenous communities today.

Winner: – Best Emerging Artist (Adelaide Fringe 2016) – Best Emerging Indigenous Artist (Melbourne Fringe 2015) – SA Tour Ready Award (Melbourne Fringe 2015) – Tiki Tour Ready Award (Melbourne Fringe 2015)

“A brave and quietly devastating performance… Moving theatre that handles some emotionally harrowing material with dignity and grace.” — Cameron Woodhead, The Age

Venue Format
Theatre, Black Box Venue
Technical Rating
C, The production can be modified to suit most venues
Touring Party

HART's design is easily tourable and highly adaptable to venues of varying sizes, audience capacities, and technical resources, but is best realised in a black-box theatre space. The set consists of a single chair and a large ring of flour (3m diameter/5-6kg volume). Audio-visual projection is a core element of the production design: the venue projector must be able to produce an image on the full rear wall of the stage that is appropriate to the scale of the venue and to the ring of flour.

She Said Theatre uses performance to explore alternative histories, re-imagine forgotten stories, and encourage a theatrical dialogue with the unheard voices in Australian society. Founded as a direct response to the lack of creative leadership opportunities for women in theatre, we aim to create more active roles for women and other under-represented artists, to bring to life their skills in acting, directing, writing, production, and design. She Said Theatre has created and produced twenty seasons across Australia and NZ of seven new Australian works (Breaking, Laika and Wills, Bock Kills Her Father, HART, The Quiet Bite, Salt and Fallen), and has won or been nominated for several awards including a Green Room Award for Best Independent Theatre Production (HART). Currently based in Melbourne, Australia, She Said Theatre was founded in Brisbane in 2006 by co-Artistic Directors Penny Harpham and Seanna van Helten.

Company Website

Unique Selling Point

HART is an intimate, inviting work that speaks openly and directly to its audience about Australia's Indigenous history through straight-forward, sincere storytelling. It is full of loss and longing but also warmth, compassion, resilience and humour, which makes it accessible to a wide range of audiences. The production design - by award-winning designer Chloe Greaves - reflects the show's qualities of intimacy, reflection, and stripped-back storytelling, using only a single chair and a ring of white flour that encourages multiple interpretations, while the show's audiovisual design uses documentary footage and contemporary media sound bites to ground the stories in a real-life context.

Marketing Materials

– High-quality production and promotional images – High-quality promotional video footage – Marketing copy and print material templates available – Reviews – Educational resources (HART is included on the VCE Playlist for 2018) – Positive audience feedback/reviews – Successful production history including at Brisbane Festival (2016), DreamBIG Children's Festival (2017), Darwin Festival (2017), and in regional centres in Victoria and Western Australia as part of a tour coordinated by Regional Arts Victoria

Community Engagement

Prior seasons of HART have successfully integrated the following community engagement opportunities, beyond the performance itself: – post-show Q&A with the performer/creator Ian Michael – workshops with Ian Michael – schools performances – 'Community Night' performances encouraging low-priced or free ticket offers to local Indigenous communities – collaborations with local Indigenous communities (e.g. event package at Albury-Wodonga's HotHouse Theatre that billed HART alongside Indigneous musicians and a 'bush tucker' meal at the theatre)