BlackWrights: Blak in the Room

In partnership with Melbourne Theatre Company

We are teaming up with Melbourne Theatre Company to present Blak in the Room. A series of fresh, unheard stories that illustrate a vast diversity of First Peoples voices, cultures and experiences, carrying on the cultural storytelling practices of the oldest continuous culture on the planet. 

Grounded in Blak ways of working and the deep, rigorous approach to storytelling that has been developed across countless generations, Blak in the Room showcases new works that have evolved through our BlakWrights Program, a sustained exploration of the future of theatre and its significance for First Peoples.

Through residencies, commissions, workshops and other collaborations, these works will be exclusively co-designed with First Peoples artists and creatives.

Blak in the Room is your opportunity to bear witness to the creation of new First Peoples stories for the stage.

The full program of works, schedule and ticket details will be announced later in 2024. Till then we will keep you updated on our BlackWrights participants as the program progresses.

Meet the writers

Maurial Spearim

Maurial Spearim is a Indigenous Australian Gamilaraay, and Muruwari woman who draws strength from her connection to Country and People. An actor, singer and writer interested in creating work that brings First Nations voices and stories front and centre that can be embraced and celebrated on main stages, in film & television and music arenas. Her work is bold, thought-provoking and unapologetic.

Phoebe Grainer

Phoebe Grainer is a Kuku Djungan, Muluridji, Wakaman, Tagalaka, Kunjen, Warrgamay and Yindinji woman from Far North Queensland. Phoebe is a graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting).

As an actor, Phoebe’s performance credentials include: Black Cockatoo (Ensemble Theatre), Tiddas (La Boite Theatre), Saltbush (Insite Arts), Two Hearts (Kings Cross Theatre), Serpent’s Teeth (Kings Cross Theatre), Doing (Kings Cross Theatre) and Rainbow’s End (Darlinghurst Theatre).

This year, Phoebe is in the lead cast for SBS’ new TV Series While the Men are Away. Phoebe is a Creative Producer at Sweatshop Literacy Movement. Her writing credits include as co-editor and sub-editor for Racism: Stories on Fear, Hate & Bigotry and Blacklight: Ten Years of First Nations Storytelling. Her writing has also appeared in The Lifted Brow, SBS Voices, Red Room Poetry and Sweatshop Women: Volume One and Volume Two and Povo: Stories on Class.

As a playwright, Phoebe was in the Darlinghurst Theatre’s 2020 and 2022 Next In Line program and Griffin Theatre Studio in 2021. She has also worked as a playwright in ILBIJERRI Theatre Company’s BlackWrights program in 2021 and is a playwright in their current 2023 BlackWrights program. Phoebe is a 2022 finalist for the Queensland Theatre’s Queensland Premier’s Drama Award with her play, Sugar Cane.

This year, Phoebe won the Australia Council for the Arts prestigious Dreaming Award.

Isobel Morphy-Walsh

Isobel Morphy-Walsh, a proud Nirim Baluk woman from the Taun Wurrung (Taungurung)
people. Isobel is a mutli-disciplinary artists spanning both visual art and performance art, a
weaver, a curator, a producer, an activist and an educator. Isobel has spent her life working
with her community and our cultures with a particular emphasis on history, culture, country
and its importance today.

Isobel comes from storytellers and weavers and continues both of those practises herself
through her own contemporary and creation story-telling, singing and dramatic
performance. Indeed Isobel Launched her first production combining her whole family skills
in song, dance and story, ‘Gunga-na Dhum Nganinju (The stories we hold tightly) in 2023 as
part of Yiramboi Festival.

Isobel’s visual arts practise is wide ranging and includes many mediums; weaving, lino
printing, painting, fabric creation, woodwork, cultural objects and adornments and more
recently working with metals. Her artwork can be found in state collections, over walls she
passes, on the bodies of people she knows and in Heathcote as public Art. Many a yarn,
spoken word and song can be heard in her presence. Both can be found on the internet.

Director Amy Sole (Wiradjuri, Worimi)

Director Rachael Maza (Yidinji, Meriam)

Director Kamarra Bell-Wykes (Yagera, Butchulla)

Writer Isobel Morphy-Walsh (Nirim Baluk)

Image Natasha Carter

Writer Phoebe Grainer (Kuku Djungan, Muluridji, Wakaman, Tagalaka, Kunjen, Warrgamay, Yindinji)

Writer Maurial Spearim (Gamilaraay, Muruwari)

Producer Joel Stevens (Māori - Ngāti Maniapoto)

Social Impact Producer Laura Harris


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