Director’s Note: A LETTER FOR MOLLY

20 Apr 2022

I didn’t grow up wanting to be in the theatre. In fact, I didn’t know what theatre was. It seemed to me a place likened to an old dusty library overflowing with dormant stories. Theatre was where you went to die. However, I would soon discover that this mysterious, enigmatic place is where stories take seed and blossom under the heat of the stage lights. I finally saw and felt the dusty black drapes a-washed in tales living, thriving and growing. I was awoken to magic of theatre when I got to experience my first play, Louis Nowra’s COSI. It dazzled my young mind and I was hooked. I have since been drawn to Australian plays and new Australian works but especially black stories… First Nations voices. The quietness of the past has been shattered and our convictions, our beliefs have risen to challenge you. To bring you into our world.

A LETTER FOR MOLLY confronts the themes of womanhood in Aboriginal families. The way our sometimes shameful history has shaped our black women and how we raise our children and families. How the onslaught of early settlement along with the destructive brutality and cruelty can break the bonds that bind us. How family can diverge from it’s values under these conditions. Where kindness and love once lived, the space is now shared with pain, distress and hardness. Can we find stability when we carry our ancestors demons?

Family stories and memories long settled, layer upon layer, fluctuating between what really happened and what becomes family legend. Shipway’s ode to her mother, her mother’s mother and all who have walked before her is a creation in brush stroked dreaming.

– Ursula Yovich

On stage 9 May, 4 Jun, don’t miss A LETTER FOR MOLLY by Brittanie Shipway.