The Noongar Shakespeare Project

In 2012, in an international first, Yirra Yaakin presented translated Shakespeare's Sonnets in the Noongar language as part of The Globe Theatre’s Cultural Olympiad in London. This was followed in 2013 by a presentation of a selection of the Sonnets at the Opening of the Perth International Arts Festival, another first for the Company. These Yirra Yaakin presentations represented an important moment in celebrating Noongar culture and language internationally, in addition to generating a sense of pride and connection within the Noongar community.

In 2015 we continued this evolution of translating Shakespeare Sonnets into the Noongar language with an expansion of these initial seeding projects. We began a Noongar language-training program for selected Yirra Yaakin artists, which included developing a schools based workshop residency program that was successfully piloted with Clontarf Aboriginal College.

This year we provided Shakespeare's Sonnets in Noongar Language workshops to six selected local high schools.


The aim of this program is to teach Shakespeare's sonnets in traditional Noongar language to upper high school students’ aged 15+. We aim to create a better understanding of Noongar culture and the process of adaptation, while at the same time, providing students with a meaningful introduction and engagement with Noongar language. The sonnet are taught over a minimum of five classroom periods. In this time students are introduced to the basics of Noongar language (i.e. phonetics, simple vocabulary, etc.), and they learn how the Sonnets were created and translated. In addition, students are also given an introduction into the new and emerging poetry of the Noongar language. A senior Noongar language custodianintroduces the program with up to three workshop facilitators and a senior workshop instructor. The program runs for one week, and at the end of the week the students undertake a presentation of their sonnet to their community.

If you are interested in your school participating in the Noongar Shakespeare Project in 2017 please contact Jessica Gatt | Education Officer: email or call: 9380 3049


We are continuing developing this unique educational cultural language program that will eventually link to support the development and presentation of a full-length adaptation and translation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth in Noongar language. We are undertaking this development in partnership with Australia's Bell Shakespeare Company. It is planned that this world-first production will premiere at the 2019 Perth International Arts Festival.


  • Artistic Director - Kyle J Morrison
  • Sonnets Writer/Adapter/Senior Workshop Instructor - Kylie Bracknell [Kaarljilba Kaardn]
  • Language Consultant/Custodian/Elder - Aunty Roma Winmar
  • Assistant Producer - Clothilde Bullen
  • Performers/Facilitators - Dennis Simmons, Rubeun Yorkshire, Karla Hart, Irma Woods, Della Rae Morrison, Maitland Schnaars.
  • Education Officer - Jessica Gatt
  • Dramaturgs: Kate Mulvany & Peter Evans
  • Consultant Group: English Specialist Teachers; Carlene Thorpe, Woodlands Primary School, Katie Oriti, Co-coordinator of Aboriginal Studies, Catholic Education Office, Libby Klyss, Drama Teacher.  Additional TBA



Given the worldwide interest in the study and presentation of Shakespeare we are seeking local, national and international partners for this significant undertaking.

Recently I experienced the work of the very talented Aboriginal performers of Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company from The Noongar Shakespeare Project and it brought tears to my eyes. In the process of translating a Shakespeare sonnet into Noongar language, each actor goes on their own spiritual journey reconnecting with their past and their present, carefully choosing the words and values that best represent what Shakespeare intended and how it is expressed through their own culture. It is such a gift to be present at their workshops and performances to feel this journey and see it when they perform. It is an entertaining way to learn about this very important culture and people, and is an immensely rewarding project for both the actors and the audiences. I am excited to be an ambassador for this program and invite you to consider becoming a part of this project and the Yirra Yaakin community.” (Mae Cardaci - Philanthropist and Noongar Shakespeare Project Ambassador)

If you are interested in becoming the Noongar Shakespeare Project Ambassador please contact our Partnerships manager Sally Richardson. E: | M: 0408925769 or DONATE NOW