05 Mar, 2012 Last updated: 09 Dec, 2014

SheppARTon Festival will play host to the Australian premiere of the new play, 'Dare to be Faceless' on 12 March.

SheppARTon Festival will play host to the Australian premiere of the new play, 'Dare to be Faceless' on 12 March.

Originally commissioned by the iconic La Mama Theatre through its ‘Theatre for Our Diverse Community’ project funded by the VicHealth’s Arts About Us program, Dare to be Faceless examines the lives of refugees in Australia, bringing the reality of their experiences to the stage in light of prevalent attitudes in our society.

A talented local Shepparton Theatre Arts Group Inc. cast, including new members from Shepparton’s African communities, will perform the play on the closing night of the SheppARTon Festival. Local choirs St David’s Lutheran Church Choir and Angel Voices provide the landscape and evoke the emotional context for the journey of the play.

The play tells the story of Mkipo and Andy, who have lived fundamentally different lives. One has fled war and crossed oceans to begin a new life; the other has fallen from grace from a powerful, privileged and fast-paced life. They share a journey of redemption as they find the way to save each other. This is a powerful story of the fundamental celebration of the humanity we share - the experiences of grief, tragedy, loss, justice and hope are intertwined in this moving story.

The performance of Dare to be Faceless is part of VicHealth’s Arts About Us Roadshow. VicHealth has funded 18 Arts About Us projects for three years to develop arts-based programs, shows and exhibitions that celebrate cultural diversity and help people understand the harmful impacts of race-based discrimination.

“It’s important for Victorians to understand that race-based discrimination affects people’s health and wellbeing and that we all have a role to play in stopping it,” says VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter.

“Our Arts About Us projects such as Dare to be Faceless provide a powerful platform for celebrating cultural diversity and strengthening cultural understanding. We’re excited to be able to bring this performance to Shepparton audiences to encourage dialogue about the benefits of cultural diversity and the harm caused by race-based discrimination,” she said.

SheppARTon Festival Director, John Head, is delighted to include Dare to be Faceless as a major project in the 2012 SheppARTon Festival; Brave Voices.

“This play encompasses all of the attributes defining the Brave Voices theme of promoting multiculturalism by standing up and speaking out against discrimination in a multidimensional project coordinated between various arts groups and communities from Melbourne and the Goulburn Valley. Dare to be Faceless will leave a major beneficial impression on the cohesiveness of the Shepparton community.”

Dare to be Faceless Director, Marc McIntyre, who was born and raised in Shepparton, says audiences will be inspired by the play’s central themes of loss and self discovery.

“The play’s two characters from vastly different backgrounds and experiences show audiences that human experience and need transcends different cultural experiences and language,” he said.

VicHealth’s Arts About Us Roadshow visits Shepparton, Mildura, Gippsland and Horsham between January and July 2012.

Dare to be Faceless

SheppARTon Festival and Riverlinks present a Shepparton Theatre Arts Group Inc. (STAG) and Artistic Merit production of Dare to be Faceless.

Dare to be Faceless has been supported by VicHealth Arts About Us, Greater Shepparton City Council, La Mama, and GO TAFE.

Monday 12 March at 5.00pm. Westside Performing Arts Centre, Echuca Rd, Mooroopna,

Tickets are available from Riverlinks Box Office, phone 5382 9511 or buy tickets online.

$26 Full Price/$22 Concession. Free childcare provided on site for children under 10.