At last year’s London launch of ORIGINS: First Nations theater From Around the World, we created ORIGINS: On the Road as a way to bring Indigenous theatermakers to Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities around the world. We see this as an essential part the ORIGINS mission to bring Indigenous theater to world audiences.
Australian Aboriginal playwright David Milroy just completed the first ORIGINS: On The Road tour. David Milroy is a Palyku man from the Pilbara region of Western Australia. He has achieved national and international success and recognition as a musician, playwright, writer and theatre director. David won the prestigious Patrick White Playwrights’ Award (Australia) in 2004 for Windmill Baby.
As the first artistic director of Yirra Yaakin, from 1995 to 2003, David worked with first-time writers and artists to present an acclaimed body of new Western Australian Indigenous works. He is widely recognized for his contribution to Aboriginal theatre industry development and, in 2002, was a co-recipient of the Myer Award, acknowledging his commitment to empowering the Aboriginal community to present their own stories.
The tour was a great success. David met with Native American playwrights and actors, and gave presentations on family history, Aboriginal history, and the development of Aboriginal theater in Australia to audiences ranging from middle and high school students to college and university students and community members, as well as conducting workshops on scriptwriting at:
- The University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, through the Theater Arts and Dance Department and the Department of Anthropology
- Sinte Gleska University, Mission, South Dakota. Sinte Gleska was one of the first tribal colleges in the United States and remains committed to its earliest purposes: to preserve and teach Lakota culture, history and language to promote innovative and effective strategies to address the myriad of social and economic concerns confronting the Sicangu Lakota Oyate.
- Black Hills State University, Spearfish, South Dakota—a regional university with a strong Native American student body and faculty
- Oglala Lakota College, Kyle, South Dakota. Oglala Lakota College is chartered by the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Its mission is to provide educational opportunities which enhance Lakota life
- Fort Berthold Community College, New Town, North Dakota, September 23-24. The Fort Berthold Community College is chartered to provide quality cultural, academic, and vocational education and services for the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation.
- University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, through the Department of Theatre and Film
- Haskell Indian Nations University, a national center for Indian education, research, and cultural preservation, located in Lawrence, Kansas
In the course of the tour, David received many honors, including
the gifting of a star quilt and beaded hat from the chairman and tribal council of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Naiton of the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota a powwow in his honor by students and parents from the Mandaree school, North Dakota introduction at the Little Wound School back-to-school powwow in South Dakota
Plans are now underway to tour other Indigenous theatermakers internationally as ORIGINS: First Nations Theater From Around The World continues in its mission to bring Indigenous theater and theatermakers to world audiences.
David Milroy’s United States Tour was funded by contributions from the Australian Embassy, the University of Minnesota, Sinte Gleska University, Oglala Lakota College, Fort Berthold Community College, the University of Kansas, and Bronitsky and Associates.
For additional information about this tour and upcoming tours, please contact
Dr Gordon Bronitsky
Bronitsky and Associates