Silence is a play for three Vietnamese women. It was on the VCE Drama list in 2010. Silence was first produced at La Mama in 2008, starring Hai Ha Le, Ai Diem Le and Mong Diep. It then ran for a third season from May 19 – June 6 2010 at La Mama Courthouse Theatre, and starred Ai Diem Le, Diana Nguyen and Gabrielle Chan. Silence featured bunraku puppetry by Penelope Bartlau and a new sound design by Simon Charles.
In 2010 Silence also toured Victoria courtesy of VicHealth.
Silence is about the secrets and spirits that haunt us from within. A family reunited by a death anniversary have to face the possessiveness of history and put the past to rest.
An extract of Silence was published in Peril’s third edition. You can buy the script of Silence from Currency Press in Sydney.
I will be reading on Tuesday 21st September at 1:20pm Melbourne time for Authors for Peace. This is run by the literature festival in Berlin and will be aiming for a Guinness Book of Records attempt at the longest continuous reading. You can see it live from the web site.
My new play, I Could Be You, will open on Thursday 23rd September. Please come along and support us.
An article on mental health by me was published in the Age yesterday.
And there is a short video showing highlights from Silence from ABC Radio Vietnam.
The Immigration Museum captured a short video and parts of one of the Q and A sessions for Silence.
I was interviewed by Robin Usher, and the interview appeared in today’s edition of The Age. I think he did a good job in capturing the reasons why I wrote Silence.
My play Silence is on the VCE list for year 11 and 12 students! It will be published with Currency Press in May 2010 and have another season at La Mama.
The run was successful in November 2009 even though I had to play Ba at the last minute. This at least gave me an insight about how difficult the part is to play.
Peril is having a launch at Asialink on Thursday December 3 at 7pm. Come along and be part of the fun!
Did a reading at the literaturwerkstatt last night with Antje Strubel. It was an interesting discussion about communism, history and the role it plays in our respective works. I then had drinks with some people from the Australian Embassy, one of whom I’ll be meeting again on Friday to discuss my next Berlin visit in 2010. I have confirmed that I will be returning in the second week of June to do a video installation of ” i could be you” at the skupturen park in the centre of Berlin. I’m at the end of my residency now. Tonight I’m seeing a modern German rendition of Hamlet by the Deutsche Theatre – at least I know how it ends! And will be catching up with Pham Thi Hoai on Saturday the day before I go.
Went to Hamburg to visit a close friend- and saw a modern day production of Siegfried- the Wagner opera from the Ring Cycle led by Simone Young. It was brilliant! The first act was set in a psychiatric hospital, the second in a railway station, the third in the library (which could be read as his mind) and the fourth in a homeless shelter. The action was set in his mind, so the dragon was his mind projecting a monster onto another homeless man. The subconscious was represented by broken windows and forest, and the conscious by the front part of the stage where the “action” took place. It blew my mind- in a good way.
It reminded me of the artistic director’s statement for “Silence” which premiers when I get back on November 11. Penelope Bartlau and Wolf Heidecker are using the set of the house as a metaphor for the self, with the ghostly apparitions as subconscious possessions. I’ve seen a few tantalising pictures on facebook of the production (it’s been developed while I’ve been in Berlin) and it looks wonderful.
I’ve been writing additions to grant applications while I’ve been here as well as redrafting and writing my own work. I’m so grateful for the time- though there is only a week left.
I have an Opinion piece in today’s Age, History forgotten in hysteria over asylum seekers. It starts:
THE RECENT media and political panic resulting from another boatload of asylum seekers coming to Australia demonstrates that both parties have forgotten about the nature of their constituencies.
“Boat people” in the 1970s and 1980s are now the well established Vietnamese-Australian communities. “Boat people” include such high achievers such as Khoa Do and Tan Le, both Young Australians of the Year, and Nam Le, the short-story author.
The Liberals have forgotten the legacy of Malcolm Fraser, who supported the family re-unification plan and cynically have even forgotten the Vietnamese people who vote Liberal because of that legacy. Labor has taken the easy way out and is now even claiming that the 90-day limit for mandatory detention may be exceeded because there are too many asylum seekers on Christmas Island.
Read the rest, and comment below if you like.
Finally received word of my masters result- which looks like a pass with no amendments! Am really relieved about this and looking forward to starting afresh with the doctorate at the University of Western Sydney.
I received an invitation today from Casula Powerhouse to participate in “Writing Asia” as part of the Sydney Writers Festival. It is an all Vietnamese-Australian panel looking at first generation and second generation issues which promises to be interesting.
I also got a residency at Glenfern, a historical house in East St Kilda courtesy of the Victorian Writers Centre.
It really suits me to be able to have a couple of days dedicated to writing in a different space.