New Ways Old Ways - Corrugated Iron Youth Theatre


Brown's Mart Theatre, Darwin City

March, 1990

Nhulunbuy, Groote Eylandt, Jabiru, Katherine, Beswick, Lajamanu, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek,
Canberra Theatre Festival for Youth

April, May, 1990

During 1989 Corrugated Iron Youth Theatre advertised a state-wide competition for playwrights up to the age of 25 years. Of the 40 or so entries received based on the theme “New Ways Old Ways” five were selected to form a touring program of short one-act plays. Corrugated Iron Youth Theatre produced the plays, directed by Steve Gration, designed by Tim Newth and choreographed by Sarah Calver.

In particular, The Girl Who Was Taken Away was another play from the community of Lajamanu senior girls class, written by Selma Sampson Nampijinpa. Again Sarah Calver and Tim Newth worked with the other core creative team and were able to continue a face-to-face contact with Lajamanu, strengthening their connections and relationships.

Creative Personnel

Director: Steve Gration
Choreographer: Sarah Calver
Designer: Tim Newth
Musician: Jenny Vuletic
Tour Manager: Bill Searle
Production Manager: Trish Latham


Conrad Page, Andrea Clements, Maggie Miles, Derek Smith, Trish Latham, Philomene Dusseljee, Tim Newth, Sarah Calver


  • Some Things Never Change by Peter Sutherland, Darwin
    Some animals are territorial, some humans behave like animals. Sometimes the difference is hard to tell. Fluffy - Conrad, Arthur Potter - Philomene, Baz Smith - Andrea, Kathleen Potter - Derek, Jenny - Maggi, Karen Hall - Tim, Frank Hall - Trish.
  • Mother To Daughter by Antonia Lewis, Darwin
    A musical dialogue exposiong a mother's and daughter's attempt to come to terms with their different values and opinions on relationships, dating and fashion. Daughter - Maggi, Mother - Philomene
  • The Girl Who Was Taken Away From Her Family by Selma Sampson Nampijinpa, Lajamanu
    Not so many years ago Aboriginal children were taken away from thier families to live with white people and work as servants. Violet - Trish, Violet's mum - Philomene/Sarah, Mrs Wood - Maggi/Andrea, Mr Wood - Derek/Tim, John - Conrad, Violet's dad - Tim
  • Dinner by Laragh Gollogly, Darwin
    In a culture where rituals no longer have an important place, a family dinner conversation takes on a greater meaning than first imagined. Mum - Andrea, Baby daughter - Philomene, Brother - Derek, Older sister - Maggi, Dad - Conrad
  • Grandma, What’s a Tree? by Simone Busch, Nhulunbuy
    The nature museum will be open for the first time in fifty years. The last remaining tree on earth will be displayed. Not everyone  queuing to see the tree has good intentions. River  - trish, Grandma - Maggi, Sky - Andrea, Miss Banks - Philomene, Franklyn Brown - Derek, Jerome Sawyer - Conrad, Curator - Tim, Mythical bird - Sarah.

New Ways Old Ways was the second program of Northern Territory young playwrights' works produced by Corrugated Iron following a Territory-wide young playwrights competition. The first program of this nature - Living in Isolation - had a successful Territory tour in 1988. Developed as a touring program, the design and nature of the perfomances have taken into consideration the limitations of a small touring ensemble and the diversity of Northern Territory communities who will witness the performances. The five young actors are supported by professional theatre workers. In performance, the Director, Designer, Production Manager, and the Choreographer perform in cameo roles. The entire ensemble will provide theatre skills workshops for community groups and young people whilst on tour.

Over forty entries were received from which five were chosen to be taken into production. 
Peter Sutherland was 16 and attended St John's College, where he was a committed drama student.
Antonia Lewis was 12, and attended Sanderson High School, where she had a strong passion for all forms of literature and displayed a maturity well beyond her years.
Selma Sampson Nampijinpa, Lajamanu, was aged 14. Lajamanu is a Warlpiri speaking community in the central desert region. Selma was studying at Kormilda College.
Laragh Gollogly, 19, was  born in Dublin, Ireland. She lived for three years in Alaska and then moved to Darwin. At the time of this tour she was living in Tasmania.
Simone Busch, 22, has lived in Nhulunbuy since she was five. From the age of eight she was a member of the Gove Junior Theatre and began writing plays as a teenager. Simone has completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree, majoring in Literature.


Dance Development Office: Sarah Calver

[Under Brown’s Mart Community Arts – Executive Officer Ken Conway]


Explore Further

Eras of Youth Dance


“You cannot say you have experienced theatre until you have seen Conrad Page dressed as a carrot … New Ways Old Ways is a strong start to Corrugated Iron’s year. The production is all Territorian and testifies to a wealth of talent: writers, performers, visionaries – we have them aplenty.”

“The plays covered a range of important issues, past, present, and future were entertaining in their content and performed with great energy and conviction.”  Groote Eylandt Newsletter, 4 May 1990

“Selma Sampson Nampijinpa, a 14 year old from Lajamanu, has written a tender, sad story, … with a touching melancholy and dignity.”  June Kane, NT News. 30 March 1990

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