Tales of Tribal Land and Courtroom Drama
“We are here.”
“Thousands of trees.”
“They hold our spirits.”
It is a moment best experienced with eyes closed; you can briefly feel as if you are in the land of the Yorta Yorta, the indigenous Australian people whose experiences this unconventional play seeks to portray. The moment doesn’t last long—soon the audience is nudged toward the seats—but it’s a nifty mood-setting start.
After that, though, the play, by Andrea James, may ask a little too much of an American audience. It weaves together fragments of folklore, scenes involving Edward Curr’s initial contact with the Yorta Yorta in the 1800s (the play’s title means “Go away”) and courtroom exchanges from an unsuccessful 1990s case in which the Yorta Yorta sought title to what they argued were tribal lands.
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