The Noongar Shakespeare Project

The Noongar Shakespeare Project is a long term cultural and creative endeavour

celebrating Noongar culture and language.

This is a critical time because Noongar language is considered to be an endangered language, with less than 400 fluent speakers within the Noongar nation. This project aims to have a direct and immediate impact to grow the number of people with an understanding of Noongar language and culture.

We are delighted to have the support of Wesfarmers Arts as our Noongar Shakespeare Project Partner

 

Where the Project began:

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.

 

CURRENT DEVELOPMENT

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.

THE TEAM

  • Artistic Director - Kyle J Morrison
  • Sonnets Writer/Adapter/Senior Workshop Instructor - Kylie Bracknell [Kaarljilba Kaardn]
  • Language Consultant/Custodian/Elder - Aunty Roma Winmar
  • 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

2017

Creative Development sessions were completed between Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company and Bell Shakespeare on the adaptation of Shakespeare’s MacBeth into Noongar language. Development sessions were completed training Aboriginal performers to become skilled Noongar language speakers. This is to support the sustainability of one of the oldest languages in the world and to have artists prepared of performing a full-length Shakespeare play in Noongar.

2016

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

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.

2013

A presentation of a selection of the Sonnets at the Opening of the Perth International Arts Festival, another first for the Company.

 

Noongar Shakespeare Workshop Program

Age: Suitable 15+

The aim of this program is to teach Shakespeare's sonnets in traditional Noongar language. More information is available here

SUPPORT US

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 an Ambassador Donor please contact our Partnerships Manager Fleur Allen. E: partnerships@yirrayaakin.com.au | M: 0448 320 708 or DONATE NOW