Facing Up at school

June 22, 2022 BY

Truth-telling: A Facing Up performance featuring actors Zerene Jaadwa, Martin Van de Wouw and Trudy Edgeley. Photo: SUPPLIED

A THEATRICAL collaboration depicting past Prime Ministers’ treatment of First Nations people is returning for NAIDOC Week.

On Saturday, 9 July, Facing Up will be performed at the Helen McPherson Smith Theatre at Federation University’s Arts Academy.

The show previously took to the stage NAIDOC Week 2019 and 2021, and Facing Up’s writer and director Lynden Nicholls said each show leaves a similar impact.

“People are generally stunned at the end and say things like I didn’t know this happened or that these leaders said that,” she said.

“I had some audience members come up to me after even the first performance saying this needs to be in schools, it’s that relevant.

“The show is there to encourage people to dig deeper and find out more about our history with little snippets of what our leaders have said.”

In his first time in the role, actor Andre Prenc will portray 30 Prime Ministers from Edmund Barton to Scott Morrison, reciting their recorded words to First Nations actors Zerene Jaadwa and Trudy Edgeley.

Facing Up debuted in 2017 and for the first time it’s heading into an educational setting.

“We’ve never played in a school environment like this which is something I’ve had in mind back when I first wrote it, to have it be in schools,” Nicholls said.

“We’ve invited teachers from around the region in the hopes they can help spread the word about it because we’re aiming to get the script in the curriculum playlist for next year.

“Following that, I’m really wanting to have Facing Up as a bit of a touring school show which is something I’ve always envisioned this as.

“This show will almost be like the catalyst to hopefully push some of these ideas along.”

The upcoming performance will be followed by a Q&A session. Tickets are $20 and available via bit.ly/3zIWK4P.