Actors Wanted for Exciting New S.A. Play: Midway to Nowhere
In "Midway to Nowhere", a group of migrants from southern Europe anxiously and frustratedly awaits placement in employment. Some of the migrants are DPs, the last of an intake of political refugees from war-torn Europe that began in December 1947 under the auspices of Immigration Minister Arthur Callwell’s populate-or-perish immigration policy. Homeless, they try to find their bearings in a new country that is at best ambivalent about their presence there.
Other migrants are economic refugees, availing themselves of employment contracts made available under new treaties with their countries. A recession has set in unexpectedly, forcing the migrants to wait in limbo while employment is deferred. Discontent has reached crisis level, with some Italian migrants having recently set fire to some of the buildings in the camp, triggering the army to send in tanks armed with machineguns. This is based on an actual episode in Australia's post-war migration history which is well documented at the Bonegilla Migrant Experience museum.
All the migrants, political and economic, are scarred by their experiences of the war. Disempowered and trapped in a no-man's-land, they wage a struggle on many fronts: against the past; the authorities; the new country; each other; and themselves, a struggle in turns sad, funny, painful and angry. By the end of the play, each character has a clearer idea of the road ahead. For some, it will be a dark journey. Some of the storylines are based on actual events.
"Midway to Nowhere" captures an important historical time and place in Australian history. It examines the collision of the old world cultures of European refugees and that of a post-war Australia still in the grip of the white Australia policy, and ambivalent both about its British heritage and its new links to America. Not only will it resonate with those post-war migrants who are still alive and their descendants, but it will also afford Australians generally an understanding of the stresses of migration and the evolution of Australian identity since the war.
"Midway to Nowhere" affords insights into the experience of being an immigrant, a refugee and an outsider in Australia. It is a testimony to their suffering and fortitude. More generally, the play brings out the eternal relevance of the past for the present. In particular, as the number of refugees and asylum seekers continues to increase in today’s global village, where geopolitical decisions in one country have ramifications for countries on the other side of the world, the play highlights the need for compassion for and understanding of these victims of international forces beyond their control and understanding. In offering a perspective corrective of the myths and fears encouraged by mainstream media and politicians, it is timely and especially relevant to contemporary Australian society.
Audition / Rehearsal / Production datesAuditions will be on Sunday 15th July at the Star Theatre, 145 Sir Donald Bradman Drive, Hilton, 5033. SA.
Rehearsals will commence in September 2018.
Performances will be from May 12 to May 19 2019, at the Star Theatre
Dimitri Greek communist refugee
Dimitri: [pronounce dee MEE tree] Greek political refugee, mid-twenties to mid-thirties, formerly a Communist guerrilla; escaped to Australia after the communists for whom he fought in the Greek civil war, lost against the nationalist forces. He is socially conscious, idealistic, a womaniser. Medium to tall in height, slim, wiry, self-confident, handsome.
Males, aged 24 to 32 from South Australia, Australia
Gennaro Italian peasant immigrant
Gennaro: [pronounce jen NAH roh] Italian immigrant, twenties, a Neapolitan peasant, mother and sisters killed in allied bombing raid; non-political; family man; seeks revenge on the Australian camp doctor whom he holds responsible for his baby daughter's death. Short to medium in height, medium build, slim.
Males, aged 22 to 32 from South Australia, Australia
Nebojša Serbian political refugee
Nebojša: [pronounce NE boy shah] Serbian DP (displaced person), twenties, highly educated intellectual; arrogant, burnt out, lethargic, brooding. University studies interrupted because of his outspoken criticism of new communist regime that took over after civil war in Yugoslavia during second World War; political prisoner, tortured by Tito's communists on infamous island concentration camp; mentally ill and destroyed by his experiences of the war, he cannot adapt and ultimately decides to leave
Males, aged 22 to 32 from South Australia, Australia
Sava Serbian displaced person
Sava: [pronounce SAH vah] Serbian DP (displaced person), late twenties to early thirties, formerly a peasant and forced labourer in Germany, anti-communist; generous, compassionate, a gentleman; fiercely proud of his heritage; patient; loyal even when his commitment becomes burdensome; stubborn; damaged by war yet remains optimistic. Chooses not to return to Yugoslavia after the war, as the communists have taken over after a civil war that took place alongside the war against the German army.
Males, aged 25 to 35 from South Australia, Australia
Rade Serbian ex-guerrilla and refugee
Rade: [pronounce RAH dair] Serbian DP (displaced person), forties, formerly a Royal bodyguard and guerrilla, anti-communist; man of honour; quick to take offence; pride has suffered greatly; damaged by his experiences in concentration camps and tormented by his insecurity over a much younger German wife. Medium to tall, slim, once very fit and strong.
Males, aged 35 to 48 from South Australia, Australia
Puniša Serbian ex-guerrilla and refugee
Puniša: [pronounce POOH nee shah] Serbian DP (displaced person), forties, formerly a peasant, Royalist guerrilla, anti-communist; self-seeking opportunist; brutal; womaniser. Has a very idiosyncratic sense of personal morality. Tall and strong, hot-tempered.
Males, aged 35 to 45 from South Australia, Australia
Ljubica Serbian migrant woman
Ljubica: [pronounce LYOO bee tsah] Serbian migrant, twenties to thirties, mother of young children in camp; jealous of lead female Danica, whom she accuses of bewitching her husband with her gypsy spells. Resentful of Ingeborg, the German wife of Rade, as she lost her family to the Nazis during the war.
Females, aged 22 to 32 from South Australia, Australia
- Located in South Australia, Australia
- Joined February, 2018