#AWW2019 Nakkiah Lui (playwright)
- Author: Nakkiah Lui (1991) Gamillaroi and Torres Strait Islander woman
- Title: Black is the New White
- Published: 2019 (book)
- Opening night: 10 May 2017 Sydney Theatre Company
- Genre: play (romantic comedy)
- Trivia: Indigenous issues
- Trivia: 2018 winner NSW Lit Award for Playwriting
- Trivia: 2018 shortlist Victorian Premier’s Award Drama
- List of Challenges 2019
- Monthly plan
- Young couple Charlotte Gibson and
- Francis Smith are newly engaged.
- But their fathers are political rivals.
- The Gibson and Smith families gather for Christmas lunch.
- Unexpected guests, sudden self-realizations
- …and family secrets disrupt their meal.
- Themes: land rights, politics, relationships, identity, class.
- Question: What is it to be Aboriginal and middle class?
- 7 scenes
- 8 characters:
- Engaged couple (20s) Charlotte and Francis
- Their respective parents (50-60s) Joan, Ray, Maire and Dennison
- Daughter (nr 2) and son-in-law (30s) Rose and Sonny
- To speed up the pace Nakkiah uses overlapping dialogue.
- The idea was to write dialogue
- …the way people really speak
- …so that characters cut off the
- beginnings and ends of each other’s sentences.
- Full revelation of emotions is transformed into comedy.
- At times it feels like community (scene 3-4-5-6)
- ….and at times like chaos! (scene 7)
- To give the play a very culturally modern feel we read about a
- virtual reality mask, twitter, Michell Obama, Hillary and Bill Clinton,
- Kim and Kayne Kardishan, Beyoncé and JayZ, Martin Luther King,
- Waleed Aly, Alicia Keyes,
- Netflix series House of Cards and the movie Cluesless.
- Lui uses a technique of the narrator to
- give the audience/reader the backstory.
- The narrator comments on action, adds insight
- …on characters, stage elements
- …developing a precise and complete character persona.
- I will not reveal any spoilers
- …..the play should be read with a clean slate.
- You will enjoy the unfinished battles
- …in the character’s public and private lives!
- We follow the maze from character to character….
- …with the climatic scene 7
- …which includes 15 ‘bombshells’ of information!
- In Black is the New White (title revealed in scene 4)
- …you meet 8 characters who
- challenge stereotypes of
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
- With Nakkiah Lui’s comic descriptions of
- their personal interaction and commentary
- …you have an unforgettable romantic comedy
- …and many life lessons.
- #MustRead #MustLaugh
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