White China by Therese Collie

White China by Therese Collie

Go against the tide to find what is lost.

January 1974 and South-East Queensland is flooding…

As the Brisbane River breaks its banks, Daisy, a devout do-gooder sets out in a dinghy to find her mother Lily, who has disappeared from her nursing home. Jaz, a defiant hippie, and Daisy’s daughter, insists on accompanying her much to Daisy’s chagrin.

Far from lost, Lily has rediscovered her half sister Joy, who is desperate to uncover the resting place of their mother, Mary Wong. It is approaching Bi San, Ancestors’ Day, when Chinese traditionally worship the dead, but without knowing where her grave is, Joy is fearful that she will be cursed for shirking her duty. So, they begin their search by unpacking family lore and retracing historical steps.

Spanning the reaches of the Brisbane River, White China is an epic adventure that follows three generations of women as they rewrite their relationships in the wake of unacknowledged truths about their family history.


REVIEWS

“A moving portrait of mothers, sisters and daughters.” – Elise Lawrence, Limelight Magazine

“White China is a beautiful tale.,. and while its story of the denial of a family’s hidden heritage is heartbreaking, the intergenerational understanding of its conclusion, as culture and history are reclaimed from fear of repeating mistakes, is quite moving…” – Meredith Walker, Blue Curtains Brisbane 

“…this production will take audiences down a river of family history and relationships, allowing them to leave the theatre pondering the effects of generational trauma…” – Annabel Gilbert, Theatre Haus  

 

More Information

SEASON DATES

Wed 7 Jun – 17 Jun 2023

PREVIEW DATES

Wed 7 Jun – 8 Jun

OPENING NIGHT

Fri 9 Jun

VENUE

Underground Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse

DURATION

90 minutes, no interval

AGES

Suitable for 15+

PLAYWRIGHT

Therese Collie

DIRECTOR/DRAMATURG

Ian Lawson

COSTUME DESIGNER

Frances Foo

LIGHTING DESIGNER

Geoff Squires

SOUND DESIGNER

Guy Webster

VIDEO DESIGNER

Nevin Howell

CO-COMPOSERS

Guy Webster

Anna Kho

PRE-PRODUCTION MANAGER

Madeline Römcke

PRODUCTION MANAGER

Tammy Weller

STAGE MANAGER

Bridget O'Brien

GUZHENG INSTRUMENTALIST

Yuren (Cara) Shen

CAST

Tegan Braithwaite

Deborah Faye Lee

Elise Greig

Emily Liu

Tracey Tainsh (aka Isheeni)


Therese Collie

Therese Collie

Therese Collie toured with the Popular Theatre Troupe before studying at the Lecoq School in Paris. A playwright, director, actor and dramaturge, in 2000, Therese was awarded an Australia Council Fellowship and The Playlab Award for her commitment to developing and presenting imaginative new work and fostering a sense of community in Queensland.

Other career highlights include: Director/Co-creator of the AWGIE award-winning Torres Strait Islander Children’s Play, Kese Solwata for KITE Theatre; Director of Svetlana in Slingbacks for La Boite Theatre; Writer/Director of Long Way Round for the ATOM award-winning SBS drama series Under The Skin; Director/Co-creator of Chinese Take Away, subsequently adapted as a doco-drama for SBS television, in which she acted.

 

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Writing credits include: AWGIE nominated plays- Murri Time (KITE Theatre) and Goin’ to the Island (Kooemba Jdarra Indigenous Performing Arts) and published plays- Out of the Blue (Street Arts), Goin’ to the Island and Binni’s Backyard (KITE and Kooemba Jdarra).

In 2008 Therese formed Playabout Productions with Tim Mullooly, presenting a weekly walking tour, The Story of Brisbane at Brisbane Powerhouse from 2016-18. In 2013 Therese was Lead Artist (Brisbane) of Hubcap Productions’ Dust, a musical theatre show composed by and featuring Mark Seymour from Hunters & Collectors.

Therese was the Ensemble Director of of Anna Yen’s physical theatre work Slow Boat.


Acknowledgements

A Playlab Theatre Production. Playlab Theatre is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.