2023 Program Announced

October 17, 2022

Following on from acclaimed hits such as Guards on the Taj in a successful 2022 season, Riverside’s National Theatre of Parramatta (NTofP) announces an even bigger and bolder program of work for 2023. A season of empowerment and place, of finding the voice within, and reclaiming identities, next year’s line-up turns up the volume with internationally acclaimed work, sitting alongside the talent and brilliance of Western Sydney creatives.

2023 kicks off with the Australian premiere of the Tony Award-winning musical Choir Boy, written by Oscar-winner Tarell Alvin-McCraney (Moonlight) and directed by Dino Dimitriades (NTofP’s Lady Tabouli) and Zindzi Okenyo (NTofP’s Orange Thrower).  A riveting drama of a young man from the wrong side of the tracks and his challenges to assert his talent as leader of the renowned gospel choir. Brilliantly underscored with gospel music sung from the heart, Choir Boy will feature as a highlight of the 2023 Sydney WorldPride program in February. This exquisite theatrical piece will be interwoven with inspirational and heart stopping gospel music under the direction of musical director Allen René Louis (Broadway Inspirational Voices).

Alongside this joyous work, and to celebrate the LGBTQI+ community, NTofP will also be presenting Hafla, a middle eastern inspired high tea event with performance vignettes and sweet treats from Lebanon and a creative first look at The Life Cycle of Blanco where audiences will be able to soak up the atmosphere of Sydney WorldPride, Western Sydney-style.

NTofP’s 2023 season continues with the Australian premiere of acclaimed Latinix writer, Tanya Saracho’s Fade in July. A witty and insightful look into work, life, the dynamics of power, class and race and the manipulation of status as a minority, Fade pens the story of Lucia, a Mexican-born novelist making ends meet through writing TV scripts, and Abel, the janitor of the building. An unlikely friendship soon blossoms, however it is quickly fractured, as Abel’s stories about his life somehow end up making their way into the plots of Lucia’s TV scripts. Directed by Jeneffa Soldatic (NTofP’s The Incredible Here and Now), Fade is an observation on making it as an outsider and how far someone will go for success.

Rounding out the main season is the world premiere of Priscilla Jackman’s theatrical adaptation of Felicity Castagna’s award-winning novel Girls in Boys’ Cars in October. Girls in Boys’ Cars will take audiences on a series of unfortunate events. Asheeka and Rosa are two funny, sharp, adventurous young women who refuse to be held back any longer. But what happens when a road trip in a stolen car results in the disappearance of Asheeka, and a juvenile jail sentence for Rosa? A theatrical adaption of the winner of the Queensland Literary Awards Young Adult Book Award and Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards Prize for Writing for Young Adults in 2022, the production will take audiences on a Thelma and Louise-esque journey, Western Sydney style.

2023 also marks the consolidation of the True West program, a celebration of the talent and creativity of Western Sydney artists and NTofP’s commitment to developing a vibrant artistic and cultural hub in Parramatta. True West performances comprise a creative first look at Vonne Patiag’s The Life Cycle of Blanco, and the world premiere of Katy Warner’s Girl Band, directed by fast-rising local talent Lucy Clements (New Ghost Theatre Company and Secret House’s Albion).

Proudly expanding the Company’s focus on nurturing the development of new work in Western Sydney, NTofP will introduce Staging the World in 2023, an intensive skills development program for artists to work with, and be mentored by established international BIPOC artists. In its first year, Staging the World will give four playwrights the opportunity to attend an intensive two-week mentorship with one of the world’s leading playwrights, Tarell Alvin-McCraney.

NTofP Executive Producer, Joanne Kee, said “This program is so exciting for us. That we have been able to secure the Australian premier season of Choir Boy, an incredible work by a significant international artist and not only to perform in Sydney but will also tour to three States, says in actions that NTofP has evolved as a theatrical force to be reckoned with. Combining international works of scale alongside our ongoing work with local stories and artists is equally as wonderful for me, as we have worked since our inception on showcasing, nurturing and supporting artists who are now quite rightly gaining broader recognition.“

Riverside Theatres’ Director, Craig McMaster added, “This year’s program signifies how profoundly NTofP has come of age. Our goal is to create opportunities for greater and Western Sydney’s talented artists and creatives to bring stories to the stage that are provocative, relevant and inspiring to Australian audiences. This has never been clearer than in our 2023 program. Our work showcasing these artists and presenting international works of scale such as  Choir Boy in Parramatta is a testament to Riverside’s continued evolution as a cultural centre of excellence in the heart of Sydney’s Central River City.

Established in 2015, Riverside’s National Theatre of Parramatta has become a force within the Australian theatre landscape, known for its inclusivity and eye for often-overlooked talent. NTofP continues to impress with a line-up of world and Australian premieres, innovative initiatives for local artists and community and through its continued commitment to providing high-quality theatre in one of Sydney’s most thriving cultural precincts.

For further information on the program and tickets, visit https://nationaltheatreofparramatta.com.au.