• Full cast of the Season by Nathan Maynard (Photography by James Henry courtesy of the Sydney Festival)Source: Photography by James Henry courtesy of the Sydney Festival
Emerging Palawa playwright Nathan Maynard has delivered a work of substance in his first major production The Season. Director Issac Drandich has high praise for Nathan's work comparing his writing sensibilities to the legendary playwright Jack Davis.
Nancia Guivarra

27 Dec 2016 - 12:10 PM  UPDATED 1 Jan 2017 - 11:15 AM

It's Pakana playwright Nathan Maynard's first major theatre production which the former actor has written over a nearly 4 year journey.

Among many supporters and collaborators Maynard names the legendary Palawa author Elder Jim Everett who helped in the writing process for The Season.

"All of them fellas put in effort too, and believed in the story and believed in me. I'm super proud it's gonna be on stage and I'll also be super proud when I hear these fellas [the cast] sing "Old Cape Barron" and hear them speaking our lingo. I hope my mob's gonna be super proud too," said Maynard.

He also cites the support of his Elders, family and the Tasmanian and Australian entertainment industry including Wesley Enoch, Louise Gordon, Ilbijerri's Artistic Director Rachael Maza, the Yellamundie Playwrights Festival and the Putalina Festival.

The Season is a fictional play about the lives of the Duncan family who come together each year for the mutton bird season on Big Dog Island. It's about culture, kinship and it's full of humour.

"It’s definitely influenced by my experiences on the bird island and my family’s experiences on the bird island and my communities, but its definitely a fictional yarn in the sense that all the characters are fictional, said Maynard.  

"The plot’s fictional, I do take truthful elements out of it but it’s mainly a fictional yarn based on a living breathing culture." 

Uniquely in Australian theatre, The Season features an all star Indigenous cast and creatives including Tammy Anderson, Lisa Maza, Nazaree Dickerson, Luke Carroll, Trevor Jamieson and James Slee.

After reading the script, Director Issac Drandich took on the play having visualised all these actors in their roles immediately. What has developed on stage is magic according to those who've been involved. 

"Nathan Maynard describes the birds, when they fly around the world and come back to Dog Island to the exact same burrows every year, when there's 3 million of them flying in the air as if they're flying in perfect chaos.  So part of my process is about creating the chaos and then going back and creating something perfect out of that chaos. Only a family, such as the family that's portrayed in this play can achieve what I think is perfect chaos," says Drandich.

The story features Palawa actor Tammy Anderson returning to the stage in the role of the family matriach.

"To play the role of Stella in The Season, is for me overwhelmingly, emotionally beautiful and I do it with such pride [as an Aboriginal Tasmanian]. I feel it's a role that is written for me. I'm acting opposite Kelton Pell and we're exploring love. These two people have been together for 33 years and Australia needs to see more stories of family love like these, especially from Tasmania" said Anderson.

The Season premieres at the Sydney Festival on the 10th of January. The Sydney Festival offers reduced ticket prices to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander communities for a range of events.

To book – call 1300856876 and quote ‘communitysf17’