The Enlightenment of the Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, and the Encounter with the Monkey King – Great Sage, Equal of Heaven, (also known as Enlightenment) draws on the grand tradition of contemporary adaptations of canonical texts, myths and legends of predominantly Western texts by reimagining the stories of the Buddha and the Monkey King as young women living in Australia.
Support for this project will tangibly contribute to a more inclusive Australian theatre sector and will support the financial sustainability of Australian artists at a time when many have not been able to tour or practice in person since March 2020. We are very grateful to have confirmed funding for the Melbourne season and are now asking for support to take this show to Joe Paradise Lui’s hometown, Perth.
The composition of the project team reflects the diverse experiences of the cultural themes it explores, and all actors will be paid award rates. We are asking for funds to cover the cost of flights and accommodation for the actors and a few key crew members.
To grow up in a Chinese Buddhist household is to be immersed in the stories of the Buddha, the Monkey King, and others of their ilk. As literature, as well as numerous TV and film adaptations in many East Asian cultures, these stories have long been a part of Joe’s understanding of the world. But to date, he has not seen them on an Australian stage, interrogated with the same exciting robustness regularly afforded to European myths.
Elbow Room and Joe Paradise Lui have assembled an artistic team that reflects the diversity and variety of relationships that exist to this material in contemporary Australia, and cultural consultant Jamie Lewis (Executive Director of Next Wave Festival) has led two script developments. Both the Perth and Melbourne Presentations will be accompanied by Mandarin surtitles.
The team includes Merlynn Tong, John Desengano, Conor Gallacher, Alice Qin, Badiucao, Emily Tomlins, Marcel Dorney, Cherish Marrington, Samad Shiraz, Hardik Mehta, Jamie Lewis, Sarah Cheng, Adelaide Fisher, Rosie Pidd, Finn Carter and Catherine O’Donoghue.
Please help us take Enlightenment to Perth!
By supporting this project, you enable Australian artists to embark on their first national tour since COVID-19 hit in January 2020. Touring work is a crucial part of the cultural ecology both financially and artistically. You enable Western Australian audiences to engage with an exciting new work that plays a key role in access and representation on Australian stages. You will allow diverse artists to present a work of tremendous personal significance to their home city. You will create award rate paid and supported professional touring opportunities for diverse actors who are altogether too infrequently highlighted on Australian stages.
You will inspire a new generation of theatre makers from diverse backgrounds to believe there is space for them on Australian stages; for their stories, their myths, their heroes. That they are seen and welcomed and wanted. To imagine a future for Australia with their voices as a key pillar of our cultural landscape.
We are working closely with the State Theatre Centre, Western Australia, our wonderful presenting partner in Perth regarding COVID updates and development and have the capacity to reschedule all elements of the tour to a date later in the year in the event that the July Season cannot go ahead.