On the precipice of something life changing, a young Palawa man plunges into an exploration of self and Country. Carried with the winds of a metaphysical Flinders Island - the place where it all happened - he is drawn back to the dawn of colonisation; to a woman who bore the brunt of the oppressors’ violence and then forward to her granddaughter, who buried the truth as a means of survival. Stirring up stories together, with parts both achingly sad and unexpectedly funny, what unfolds reveals by slow degrees painful but important truths. Do we own the stories of our ancestors? And does the passage of time undermine a connection to Country?
Canberra-based writer and ANU's own, Dylan Van Den Berg, winner of the 2021 Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting at the NSW Premiers Literary Awards, brings to the stage the uneasy personal process of reconciliation. Starring award- winning Mandandanjii and Darambal woman Roxanne McDonald (Parramatta Girls, Mabo) and Murriwarri and Yuggerah woman Katie Beckett (Redfern Now, Sunshine Girl, Which Way Home) with Dylan Van Den Berg, Milk is a story of longing, of connection and the ghosts of the past.
Spanning two centuries the play tracks the conversation between three Aboriginal ancestors. The three characters attempt to reconcile what came before the onslaught of colonisation with what is yet to come: an old woman from the 1840s; a middle-aged woman from the 1960s; and, a young writer from the present wanting to know more about his heritage and what happened to his ancestors.
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