Outside the Camp

Outside the Camp

    Text

    Fishermans Wharf, Darwin City

    September 5-9, 2000
    Festival of Darwin

    Channel Island Leprosarium (1931 - 1955)

    This work grew from stories about a Leprosarium between 1931 and 1955 located on Channel Island just across Darwin Harbour. In the quarter of a century to 1955 when the Leprosarium operated there was a lot of misinformation surrounding the disease and it seems that people were exiled there for life through a combination of ignorance, fear, and a dehumanised bureaucracy. For further reading about the leprosarium we recommend Rowena Ivers’ book The Spotted Skin

    The research phase for this project was completed under the Darwin Theatre Company development project Side by Side (1999) which has resulted in three new theatre works: Choking in the Comfort Zone - Stephen Carleton, Prisoners in the Garden - Stanley Stanislaus and Outside the Camp

    work of fiction

    "Outside the Camp is a work of fiction. It comes into being through hearing stories of indigenous and non-indigenous people’s experiences of Channel Island Leprosarium. It is not one person’s story but a weaving of many.

    While hearing these stories I was told a Buddhist story of two people who spent nine consecutive lifetimes together. I began to think about how and why people connect. I thought about "what if I lived before"? I questioned: can you cross cultures from one lifetime to the next?

    We have not always been handed down the stories of this country’s past; our history books tell little of the personal truths. There are many truths we have not yet come to terms with. Regardless of whether one may have lived a past or current life as a priest driven by words from the Bible, or a young child dragged away from his family to Channel Island, personal stories are important for our future and our culture.

    The road to bring this story Outside the Camp back inside the camp has not always been smooth. I sincerely thank all those who have held on and taken the journey, contributing to the research and creative stages. I hope that as the audience to the production you both enjoy and gain something by travelling with us tonight."

    Director's Notes – Tim Newth

    collaborative skill set

    The performance was developed with a small team of local Darwin artists working with the script. The collaborative skill set brought dance, puppeteering, storytelling, singing and acting to the final work. Members of the team with the director to create the puppets, sets and props.

    Creative Personnel

    Conceived, Written and Directed by: Tim Newth
    Design and Construction: Tania Lieman, David McMicken, Tim Newth
    Co-Collaborators: Ken Conway, Tania Lieman, Stanley Stanislaus, Allyson Arjibuk Mills, David McMicken
    Performers: Ken Conway, Tania Lieman, Stanley Stanislaus, Allyson Arjibuk Mills, David McMicken

    Production  Personnel

    Lighting: Neil Macknight (Darwin Entertainment Centre)
    Sound: Andrew Dudley (Darwin Entertainment Centre)
    Soundtrack Production: Matthew Cunliffe

     

    Tracks 2000

    Artistic Directors: David McMicken and Tim Newth
    Office Administration: Heather Richards
    Bookkeeper: Lynn Bramham
    Production Manager: Eunice De Ramos

    Committee Members:  David Taylor (Chair), Jackie Wurm (Vice-Chair), Glenn Bernardin (Treasurer), Rukshana Ramachandran (Secretary/Public Officer), Ken Conway, Kay Brown, Tania Lieman (Ordinary Committee Members), David McMicken and Tim Newth (Ex-Officio Members)

    Photo: Elka Kerkhofs. Ken Conway
    Photo: Elka Kerkhofs. (l-r) Stanley Stanislaus, boy puppet, Tania Lieman
    Photo: Elka Kerkhofs. Tania Lieman with boy puppet
    Photo: Elka Kerkhofs. (l-r) Stanley Stanislaus, David McMicken, Tania Lieman, Ali Mills
    Photo: Elka Kerkhofs. (l-r) Tania Lieman,Stanley Stanislaus, David McMicken, Ken Conway, Ali Mills
    Photo: Elka Kerkhofs. David McMicken with Boy Puppet

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    Responses

    "On a night at the end of the Dry, with electrical storms crackling over Darwin Harbour, and the lights of the port dotting the background, Tracks presented an exquisite evocation of local history. The narrative told of an Aboriginal boy taken from his family and sent to Channel Island. A powerfully emotive performance unfolded, evoking his terror, bewilderment and courage."

    "Theatre at its best...sending chills up my spine." 

    Suellen Hinde, NT News

    Tracks Dance Company Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.

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