“Nathan Maynard’s play has an ebullience and a warmth about it that is utterly endearing” Seasoned with Spice – The Season, Syd fest – The Australian 120117
“It’s a great yarn, full of laughter and pride in a culture that has been in the shadows for too long” Sydney Festival Review – theaureview.com 130117
“The Season ends up as both a meditation on culture and the nature of life itself, as birds and humans alike come and go, and pass down their histories to their offspring. It’s quietly moving and surprisingly uplifting”. THE SEASON REVIEW – Sydney Festival – 120117
“Watching, the generosity of his creations was an absorbing, welcoming and familial discussion of much more than race. It’s rich with gender politics, issues of big agriculture, inter-generational dynamics, historical grudge holding”. The Season Sydney Festival Review – thesydenyartsguide 120117
SYDNEY FESTIVAL 10-15 January: Sydney Opera House – Drama Theatre
TEN DAYS ON THE ISLAND 16-19 March: Theatre Royal Hobart
Sharp as a tack and blunt as a brick, The Season is a funny, charming and real portrait of Tasmanian Aboriginal culture.
The Duncans return to their shed on Bass Strait’s Dog Island for “the season”, the annual harvesting of mutton-birds. But this year, things are different. One generation is giving way to the next, the youngsters have their own way of doing things, and government regulation is making its presence felt, even on this remote patch of earth. Amid the bird gurry and tiger snakes, Aunty Marlene’s roving eye and the threat of Pop blowing a pooper value, the Duncans reconnect with country and culture. Hatchets are buried, secrets revealed, pranks pulled, deep connections made – and all within a family bursting with love and always up for a laugh. Little known outside the Tasmanian Aboriginal community, “the birding” is an exuberantly lively expression of culture, here lovingly evoked by playwright Nathan Maynard, a descendant of the chief of the Troowolway Clan of North East Tasmania. Nathan knows those hot, cramped, feather-daubed work sheds first hand, and his hilarious plain-speaking play has the ring of absolute authenticity.
The Season features the exciting – but all too rare – combination of an Aboriginal writer, director and seven member cast of some of the nation’s most distinguished Aboriginal actors, including Trevor Jamieson (The Secret River) and Tammy Anderson (I Don’t Want to Play House).
Together they deliver this disarming, funny story of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community, its passion and pride.
Writer Nathan Maynard
Director Isaac Drandic
Dramaturg Peter Matheson
Set and Costumer Designer Richard Roberts
Lighting Designer Rachel Burke
Sound Designer Ben Grant
Cast Tammy Anderson, Trevor Jamieson Luke Carroll, Lisa Maza, Kelton Pell, James Slee, and Nazaree Dickerson
Approx 90 mins (no interval)
NATHAN MAYNARD – WRITER
Nathan’s is a descendant of the chief of the Trawlwoolway Clan and of the whole of the North East Tasmanian Indigenous peoples. Since the 1830’s, Nathan’s family have been known as the Maynards.
Nathan has 17 years’ experience as a dancer in schools and communities. In 2012 he performed in Shadow Dreams, a collaboration of Terrapin Puppet Theatre and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and in 2013 and 2014 Nathan was selected as a participant in the Tasmania Performs Artists Residency program at Tarraleah. In July 2014 he was given the honour of delivering the “Welcome to Country” for the National Conference of the Australian Performing Arts Centres Association. A new play by Nathan, written for young performers and a young audience, was performed by the Aboriginal Children’s Centre at Risdon Cove. In 2014 Nathan was awarded a Tasmanian Regional Arts grant to develop his performance skills, the Vita Brown Bequest (funding the purchase of a lap top and software for writing), and an Arts Tasmania Aboriginal Arts Program grant for a year long career development program. He is also an emerging producer with Kickstart Arts. His play THE SEASON, developed with Dramaturge Peter Matheson and supported by Tasmania Performs was featured in the 2015 Yellamundie Festival produced by Moogahlin. Nathan was the recipient of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Artist of the Year Award in 2006 and 2013.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Major Festivals Initiative in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals Inc.; by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body; and by the Tasmanian Minister for the Arts through Arts Tasmania. The Season was workshopped at the Tasmania Performs Residency and the Yellamundie Festival.