LaMaMa to Present American Premiere of Yanagai! Yanagai! in 2009

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12 Dec 2008

Yanagai! Yanagai!, Andrea James' play based on Australia's native Yorta Yorta people, will make its American debut at LaMaMa e.t.c. Jan. 8, 2009.



Presented in association with the Australian Aboriginal Theatre Initiative, Yanagai! Yanagai! is described as "a theatrical feast of story, music, puppetry and magic realism." The limited engagement will run through Jan. 25, 2009.

The cast will feature Harold Dean James, Cezar Williams, Joy Kelly, Tyree Giroux, Rashidah Bernay Fowler, Janet Miranda and Matt Langer.

Harold Dean James and Karen Oughtred will direct the premiere of the production, which "evokes a place where past, present and future exist as one," according to press notes. "It is set in a mythical landscape on the banks of a mighty river, which the Yorta Yorta call Dhungula and white fullas call The Murray. A clan of storytellers gathers to invoke the beautiful place they once knew, to sing it into being. Some are stories worth remembering, others are told so they may never happen again. Children and elders, spirits and ghosts, dingoes and min-min lights are threaded together in tales of colonial law, a people and their land."

"Yanagai!" is a Yorta Yorta word meaning "Go away" that confronted the intrusion of the first white people seeking passage through Australia's Yorta Yorta territory in the early nineteenth century. James penned the work in response to a 1998 Australian court decision that denied recognition of the native Yorta Yorta people and their claim to their ancestral land.

The production has puppet design by Spica Wobbe, costumes by Ramona Ponce and lighting design by Anthony Mulanix.

Tickets are available by calling (212) 475-7710 or by visiting www.lamama.org.

LaMaMa e.t.c. is located at 74A East 4th Street in Manhattan.