La Boite opens its 2020 season with The Neighbourhood, a companion piece to its 2017 production The Village and a co-production with La Boite’s community partner Multicultural Australia, exploring the complex stories and shared experiences of First Nations individuals, migrants, and refugees. Co-created by Todd MacDonald, Aleea Monsour and Ari Palani with an ensemble of local storytellers, The Neighbourhoodis a moving and memorable piece of theatre that sees seven storytellers take the stage to tell their own stories in their own ways, through mediums as diverse as music, song, dance, hip hop, slam poetry and acting.

The Neighbourhood. Photograph © Stephen Henry

Personal experiences were juxtaposed against national and global politics and the work explored a multitude of big ideas about family and faith, gender and sexuality, welcome and belonging, among others. All of the performers addressed ideas of racism and xenophobia in the Australian context and several spoke about colonisation and intergenerational trauma, but also about healing and reconnecting with community, culture, and family. Stories were told with humour, honesty, and open heartedness, sometimes using multiple languages, and there was palpable love and mutual respect between the seven storytellers onstage. Throughout...

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