With one in four people in Australia born overseas, it is surprising to see that arts, culture and our theatre is only now starting to catch up to this diversity.
In recent years, we’ve seen more and more dialogue in the arts space surrounding casting and storytelling, however we still have a long way to go.
For Jessica Bellamy, writer and producer of Griffin Theatre Company’s upcoming show A is for Apple, the show creates the opportunity to present a Jewish-Australian narrative into a space with little stories representing that experience.
A is for Apple is the story of twelve-year-old Shoshana as she prepares for her Bat Mitzvah and Jewish womanhood.
However, both Shoshana and her teacher Miriam are continually stumped by the question ‘what even is a Jewish woman?’
For Bellamy, the play holds significant impact in bringing Jewish stories to life in a country with a relatively small Jewish population. Bellamy says: “What makes it so uniquely Australian is that I’m creating a bit more space for Jewish stories that are a little bit funnier, quirky, iconoclastic, and suggesting that these don’t just belong in American culture. We’ve got room too to show that there’s a whole lot of diversity in Jewish expression.”
A love letter to Jewish women, and an ode to her own upbringing, Bellamy’s A is for Apple explores notions of identity and community. Bellamy says: “There’s a sense that asking questions or unravelling the problems that are part of the world will help me understand the human condition, or aspects of who I am, my community. I think having grown up in a slightly conservative religious background and spending 12 years in a modern orthodox school, straight afterwards I found myself drawn to plays that are very feminist in nature and unpack different versions of Jewish identity.”
A glimpse into one of Australia’s many cultures, A is for Apple is a reflective play of self and the many identities that make up this country.
Bellamy says, “Australia is changing, and our theatre has to reflect that, or it won’t be relevant anymore.”
A is for Apple will be held the SBW Stables Theatre, 10 Nimrod Street, Darlinghurst from Tuesday March 29 – Saturday 9 April. Tickets are available here.