ORA | mate ORA | mate

A Next Wave x PACT co-commission. Presented by Darebin Arts Speakeasy

Event Details


As part of Next Wave Festival

An interdisciplinary theatre work exploring the ways Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge systems can co-function in the face of exploited land.

In 1886, Aotearoa’s Mount Tarawera erupted. Indigenous understandings take the eruption as punishment for the exploitation of the mountain for tourist trade. 134 years later, it’s still being exploited as a tourist destination.

In this intercultural and interdisciplinary theatre work, Black Birds explore how Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge systems can co-function to understand, predict and prevent looming large-scale environmental disasters.

Using theatre, poetry, dance, video and music to story-tell, ORA | mate travels through time and language to challenge the dichotomy of nature and the human race. It asks us to think ourselves as with and of nature, instead of dominant over it. How can modern science and ancient knowledges collaborate in a world calling to be healed?


Directed by Ayeesha Ash
Movement direction by Sela Val
Created and performed by: Ayeesha Ash, Stelly G, Mel Ree and Sela Vai
Original development with: Ayeesha Ash, Stelly G, Sela Vai, Vanessa Varghese and Emele Ugavule.

Original image by Yiani-Andrikanis, edited by Muna Hamid

ORA/mate is a Next Wave X PACT co-commission and is supported by Darebin Arts Speakeasy.
Originally developed through the High/Way234 program with support of PACT, PYT | Fairfield & Q Theatre Company (The Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre)

Black Birds would like to pay respect to the traditional custodians of the land on which this work was created, rehearsed and performed: the Gadigal peoples of the Eora Nation, the Dharug and Cabrogal peoples of the Darug Nation, and the First Peoples of the Kulin Nation.
Nā mihi a Ngāti Rangitihi for the privilege to share the tāhuhu kōrero of Maunga Tarawera



26 May - 31 May, 2020


Wed - Sat 8pm & Sunday 6pm,


Studio 1, Northcote Town Hall, 189 High Strret, Northcote



Additional Info

Captioned performance on Thursday 28 May at 8pm
Audio described performance and post show Q & A on Sunday 31 May at 6pm

This production contains theatrical haze effects, dynamic sound and lighting. It also contains mature themes and some coarse language.
Mature themes: themes relating to abuse of power and privilege, themes of racism and references to racism and references to oppression.
Mature themes: references to current environmental, cultural and political issues which may cause distress to some audience members.
Audiences should also note that this production makes references to Māori peoples who have passed, and may references Indigenous peoples from Te Moana Nui a Kiwi and Australia who have passed.

Darebin City Council
274 Gower St, Preston Victoria 3072

Phone: (03) 8470 8888
Fax: (03) 8470 8888