COUNTING
AND CRACKING

  • 28 Jun – 21 Jul 24 Carriageworks
  • Approx. 3 Hours & 30 Minutes (Incl. 2 Intervals)

COUNTING
AND CRACKING

At Carriageworks

எண்ணிக்கை, இல்லையேல் கையோங்கு

ගණන් නොගන්නේ නම් ගණන් කරන්න

By S.Shakthidharan with Eamon Flack
Directed by Eamon Flack with S.Shakthidharan

  • Venue Carriageworks
  • Dates 28 Jun – 21 Jul 24
  • Duration Approx. 3 Hours & 30 Minutes (Incl. 2 Intervals)
  • Content warning

    Utilises theatrical haze and contains smoking on stage.

    Should you wish to speak to a member of staff regarding running times, content warnings or any other show related queries, our box office can be contacted on 02 9699 3444.

The internationally-acclaimed epic returns to Sydney, this time at Carriageworks.

On the banks of the Georges River, Radha and her son Siddhartha release the ashes of Radha’s mother – their final connection to the past, to Sri Lanka and its struggles. Now they are free to embrace their lives in Australia. But a phone call from Colombo brings the past spinning back to life, and we’re plunged into an epic story of love and political strife, of home and exile, of parents and children.

Featuring nineteen performers from six countries, Counting and Cracking follows the journey of a Sri Lankan-Australian family over four generations, from 1956 to 2004.

Winner of 14 major awards including Helpmann Awards for Best Production and Best Direction, Counting and Cracking returns triumphant from the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and Edinburgh Festivals, for a strictly limited season at Carriageworks.

It’s no exaggeration to say this show has changed many of our lives, and Belvoir as a company. It’s a huge, generous marvel of a show, and we’re very proud of it. If you couldn’t get to it five years ago, we’re rapt we can give its home city another chance to see what everyone was raving about. – Eamon

Co-commissioned by Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals Inc, Sydney Festival, Adelaide Festival and Belvoir. Originally co-produced with Co-Curious.

Supporters

The 2024 Season of Counting and Cracking in Melbourne, Sydney and New York is supported by:

Visionary Producer
Playking Foundation
Kim Williams AM & Catherine Dovey
Arun Abey, Sophie & Stephen Allen, Dan & Jackie Phillips, and Shemara Wikramanayake & Ed Gilmartin, with Macquarie Group Foundation
Nelson Meers Foundation 

Lead Producer   
Karen Moses

Major Producer
Penelope Seidler
Bob & Chris Ernst 
Thomas & Ingeborg Girgensohn
Victoria Taylor

Producer
Bill Hawker & Mary Bolt
Marion Heathcote & Brian Burfitt
Linda Herd
David & Jill Pumphrey
Sri Lankan Airlines

Supporter
Fiona Menzies 

We also give our heartfelt thanks to our Gamechangers Producers’ Syndicate of visionary individuals whose support for Counting and Cracking since 2017 has made a landmark contribution to Australian theatre. This support includes creative development, 2019 seasons at Sydney Festival and Adelaide Festival, 2022 international tour to Edinburgh and Birmingham.

Visionary Producers: David Gonski AC & Dr Orli Wargon OAM, Macquarie Group Foundation, Simon Mordant AO & Catriona Mordant AM, Neilson Foundation, Nelson Meers Foundation. The Thyne Reid Foundation is acknowledged for their support of Counting and Cracking through Belvoir’s Western Sydney initiatives in 2017.

Lead Producers: Patty Akopiantz and Justin Punch, Sophie and Stephen Allen, Doc Ross Family Foundation, Oranges and Sardines Foundation, Rob Thomas AM, Naomi Milgrom Foundation, Shemara Wikramanayake and Ed Gilmartin, Kim Williams AM and Catherine Dovey

Major Producers: Max Bonnell, Jane and Andrew Clifford, Sue Donnelly, The Horizon Foundation, Dan and Jackie Philips, John Pickhaver, Mark and Jacqueline Warburton

Producers: Sophie and Steven Allen, Mehrdad and Roya Baghai, Jessica Block, Andrew Cameron AM and Cathy Cameron, Bob and Chris Ernst, The Hand Up Foundation, Ruveni and Craig Kelleher, Victoria Taylor, The Wales Family Foundation

Supporters: Anne Britton, Knights Family Jabula Foundation, Lisa O’Brien, Belinda and Steve Rankine, Rob White and Lisa Hamilton, Frank Willenberg

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Performance Times

Weekly Times

  • tuesday 6:30pm
  • wednesday 6:30pm
  • thursday 1pm & 7pm
  • friday 7pm
  • saturday 1pm & 7pm
  • sunday 5pm

    Except 21 Jul at 2pm

Ticket purchases within 3 hours of the performance are not available online. Please visit our Carriageworks Box Office or call us on (02) 9699 3444 to book tickets within this time frame.

Mobile Captioned performance will be on 10 July via the GoTheatrical! app.

PRICES

  • Full Price (Adult)^ $74 – $95
  • Mates Rates (Adult)^ $69 – $85
  • Senior* $64 – $85
  • Concession $54 – $75
  • 30-Down# $52 – $67
  • Previews $55 – $60
  • Student Saver $39 – $54

Save with Season Tickets!

With 4-play packages starting from $182* plus a range of ticket types and concessions, there is a package to suit everyone!

*Preview 4-play package

Join Us

~ Bookings of 10+ full price adult tickets receive a $10 discount per ticket.
^ Tickets to Saturday and Sunday performances may have an added $5 surcharge.
* Seniors prices are available with an eligible Australian Government-issued Seniors Card.
† Concession prices are available with a full-time student card, Centrelink Pensioner concession card, Veterans’ Affairs cards, and to members of Actors Equity (MEAA), and ArtsHub, and HotHouse Theatre Subscribers.
# 30-Down and Student Saver prices are available for Previews, Tuesday evening, Wednesday evening, Thursday evening, Friday evening, and Saturday matinees.

TEAM

  • S. Shakthidharan
    Writer and Associate Director
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    Shakthi is a western Sydney storyteller with Sri Lankan heritage and Tamil ancestry. He’s a writer, director and producer of theatre and film, and composer of original music. Belvoir: The Jungle and the Sea (Co-written with Eamon Flack) and Counting and Cracking (Associate Writer Eamon Flack). His other theatre credits include Zana Fraillon’s The Bone […]

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  • Eamon Flack
    Director and Associate Writer
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    Eamon Flack is the Artistic Director of Belvoir St Theatre in Sydney. He is a director, writer, dramaturg and script developer for stage and screen.  Eamon was born in Singapore and grew up in Singapore, Darwin, Cootamundra and Brisbane. He has a BA (English and History) from the University of Queensland, and trained as an actor […]

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  • Cast

  • Rodney Afif
    Ismet & Ensemble
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    Rodney Afif was in Counting and Cracking, which toured the UK in the 2022. His other stage credits include MTC’s immersive theatre show Because the Night as well as Wait Until Dark, Three Sisters, The Balcony, Two Brothers, The Golden Dragon, Glengarry, Glen Ross and Macbeth. Film roles include the lead in the AFI nominated […]

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  • Prakash Belawadi
    Apah & Ensemble
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    Prakash is an Indian theater, film, television and media personality, teacher, activist and journalist from Bengaluru, Karnataka. Born into a family of theatre and cinema artistes, Belawadi obtained a degree in mechanical engineering from University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering in 1983, but has devoted the most part of his years to the stage, cinema, journalism […]

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  • Senuri Chandrani
    Swathi & Ensemble
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    Senuri Chandrani (she/they) is an Australian actor of Sri Lankan (Sinhalese) heritage based in Melbourne and Sydney. She appeared as ‘Jaya’ in the MIFF 2022 opening night feature film, Of An Age (dir. Goran Stolevski) and wrapped the development for the play, Nosferatu with Malthouse Theatre. In 2019, Senuri graduated from VCA with a Bachelor […]

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  • Antonythasan Jesuthasan
    Thirru & Ensemble
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    Antony is an actor and writer born in Sri Lanka and based in Paris, France. He has appeared in a number of films including Benoît Jacquot’s Casanova, Matthew Heineman’s A Private War, Cédric Anger’s L’amour est une fête, Satha Piranavan’s Friday and Friday, Lenin M. Sivam’s Roobha, Leena Manimekalai’s Sengadal, and the Palme d’Or winning […]

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  • Nadie Kammallaweera
    Radha & Ensemble
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    Born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Nadie Kammallaweera is a theatre, film and television actor, writer, and a translator. She has acted in stage plays, movies and television dramas. Nadie’s recent work as an actor in Australia include Jungle and the Sea 2022, Counting and Cracking 2019 Cherry Orchard 2021 by Belvoir Street Theatre, Wakefield (ABC […]

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  • Ahilan Karunaharan
    Sunil & Ensemble
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    Ahilan Karunaharan is a multi-disciplinary artist of Sri Lankan Tamil ancestry working across stage and screen in Aotearoa. A Graduate of The New Zealand National School of Drama and Victoria University of Wellington, his work interrogates memory, nostalgia, dislocation, and loss from a diaspora lens. From pioneering and trailblazing works for the South Asian community, […]

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  • Abbie-lee Lewis
    Lily & Ensemble
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    Abbie-lee Lewis is a Kalkadoon actress who trained on the Aboriginal Theatre and Acting courses at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Perth. Her credits include David Finnigan’s Scenes from the Climate Era, for Belvoir St Theatre, Seanna Van Helten’s Fallen, directed by Penny Harpham, for Sport for Jove; Our Town, directed by Clare […]

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  • Gandhi MacIntyre
    Priest & Ensemble
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    Gandhi (born on the same date as the Mahatma) emerged from the Methodist Drama Society in Colombo into the Lionel Wendt Theatre and it was at this period that he won a scholarship to the Drama Studio, London, where he obtained his formal qualifications. Later he migrated to Australia. His theatre credits include Pearlfishers, Madama […]

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  • Radhika Mudaliyar
    Young Radha & Ensemble
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    Radhika Mudaliyar, a Sydney-based actor of Indian heritage, is a graduate of the renowned Bachelor of Arts in Acting program at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). Recently seen in Stan’s ‘Prosper,’ she is eagerly anticipated in Belvoir Theatre’s acclaimed production, ‘Counting and Cracking.’ Whilst at WAAPA, a few notable roles Radhika portrayed […]

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  • Shiv Palekar
    Siddhartha & Ensemble
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    Shiv Palekar was born in India, raised in Hong Kong and is now based in Sydney. Since graduating from NIDA, Shiv has appeared in Counting and Cracking (Belvoir); The Tempest, TheReal Thing, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, and Disgraced (Sydney Theatre Company); The Sound Inside (Melbourne Theatre Company); The Almighty Sometimes (Griffin Theatre Company); and […]

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  • Dushan Philips
    Vinsanda & Ensemble
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    Dushan played the role of Niv in Stay Woke (Malthouse and Darlinghurst Theatre) and more recently tread the boards in Bighouse Dreaming (Arts Centre Melbourne). Other stage credits include Romeo & Juliet and Macbeth (Australian Shakespeare Company) playing the roles of Lord Capulet and Macduff. He has worked on Fury, The Antipodes (Red Stitch Actors’ […]

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  • Nipuni Sharada
    Nahinsa & Ensemble
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    Nipuni Sharada Pathirage is an actor, voice artist, and vocalist in theater, television, and film based in Sri Lanka. She has been employed as a lecturer in drama and theater at the University of Peradeniya and the University of the Visual and Performing Arts (UVPA) in Sri Lanka. She has a BPA (honours) degree in […]

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  • Kaivalya Suvarna
    Young Thirru & Ensemble
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    Kaivalya Suvarna is a Melbourne based actor who works internationally in theatre, TV & film, but is always happiest working on a Belvoir story. He first performed the role of ‘Young Thirru’ during the UK tour of ‘Counting & Cracking’ (2022) and then went on to play the role of ‘Ahilan’ in the show’s spiritual […]

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  • Rajan Velu
    Bala & Ensemble
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    Rajan Velu is a graduate of Actors Centre Australia and has worked extensively across Theatre, Television, and Film in Australia and the United States. Rajan’s theatre credits include Jungle and the Sea (Belvoir), Counting and Cracking (Belvoir), Life of Galileo (Belvoir), Norm and Ahmed (Australian Theatre Live), The Last Highway (Urban Theatre Projects), The Drum […]

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  • Sukania Venugopal
    Aacha & Ensemble
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    Sukania Venugopal has worked in Malaysia and Singapore in theatre, TV and movie projects. She also worked with the late Yasmin Ahmad on the feature movie Talentime. She performs and co-directs dance dramas with The Temple of Fine Arts in Malaysia and Temple of Fine Arts abroad. She also performs in children’s theatre with The […]

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  • Sukhbir Singh Walia (Sunny)
    Hasaanga & Ensemble
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    Sukhbir Singh Walia (more commonly known as Sunny S. Walia) is an Indian Australian actor based in Melbourne. He returns to Belvoir’s Counting and Cracking having previously been part of the ensemble on their 2022 UK tour. Walia made his television debut in Apple TV’s Shantaram, taking on the character of Sub Inspector Chavan Sharma […]

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  • Musicians

  • Kranthi Kiran Mudigonda
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    Kiran Mudigonda is one of the leading Carnatic Violinists in Australia. He had his training in India under illustrious teachers from the Dwaram and Parur traditions of Carnatic Violin and is currently undertaking advanced training from Pasur MA Sundareswaran. He has been performing Carnatic Classical Music for the past 2 decades across India, Australia and […]

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  • Janakan Suthanthiraraj
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    Janakan Suthanthiraraj is an established South-Indian artist with a background in the field of Carnatic music. He has over 20 years experience as a performing artist both in Australia and abroad. In 2019/2020 he had the privilege to work as a theatre artist for Co-Curious and Belvoir Theatre performing in “Counting & Cracking” for Sydney […]

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  • Venkhatesh Sritharan
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    Venkhatesh was born into a musical family, with his mother Sangeetha Vidwan Varalakshmi Sritharan, being a well-known Veena artist in Sri Lanka and Australia. He began to learn flute at the tender age of five under the tutelage of Sri Suthanthiraraj. While continuing to be his student, Venkhatesh was fortunate to have the opportunity to […]

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  • Creatives

  • Anandavalli
    Choreographer, Costume and Cultural Advisor
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    Anandavalli is a veteran classical Indian dancer with an international career spanning over 45 years. Born in Sri Lanka, she performed as a young prodigy across India and Europe under the tutelage of dance luminaries from both the East and the West. In 1985 she migrated to Australia and founded the Lingalayam Dance Academy and […]

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  • Dale Ferguson
    Set and Costume Designer
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    Dale Ferguson’s credits for Belvoir include The Jungle and the Sea, Sami in Paradise, The Blind Giant is Dancing, Brothers Wreck and The Power of Yes. Dales other theatre credits include Death of a Salesman (GWB, Andrew Henry Presents) 37, Come Rain or Come Shine, An Ideal Husband, The Weir, The Speechmaker, The Crucible, Top […]

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  • Damien Cooper
    Lighting Designer
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    Damien Cooper is a lighting designer for Dance, Theatre, Opera and Film. Belvoir designs include The Weekend, Into the Woods, Light Shining In Buckinghamshire, Wayside Bride, Things I Know To Be True, Mark Colvin’s Kidney, The Dog/The Cat, Radiance, The Glass Menagerie, Miss Julie, Stories I Want to Tell You in Person, Cat on a […]

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  • Stefan Gregory
    Composer and Sound Designer
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    Stefan Gregory is an Australian composer and sound designer for theatre, dance and film. His recent productions include: Medea (Brooklyn Academy of Music, NY), Yerma (The Young Vic, London), Medea, Ibsen Huis, Husbands And Wives (Toneelgroep Amsterdam), Drei Schwestern, Engel In Amerika, Medea (Theatre Basel), Trilogie de Vengeance, Les Trois Soeurs (L’Odeon, Paris), Avalanche (Barbican, […]

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  • Steve Francis
    Associate Sound Designer
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    Steve has worked extensively in theatre, dance and screen. His Belvoir credits include Cursed!, My Brilliant Career, Packer & Sons, Things I Know To Be True, Winyanboga Yurringa, Every Brilliant Thing, The Sugar House, The Book of Everything, The Power of Yes, Ruben Guthrie, Baghdad Wedding, and Capricornia. His other theatre credits include The Children, […]

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  • Nigel Poulton
    Fight and Movement Director
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    Nigel is an award-winning movement director, fight and intimacy coordinator, SAG-AFTRA/MEAA stunt performer and actor, with over 25 years of professional experience. Selected theatre credits include: for Belvoir St Theatre, Holding the Man, The Master and Margarita, Miss Peony, Packer and Sons, Things I Know To Be True, Stop Girl, Blessed Union, At What Cost?, […]

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  • Laura Farrell
    Vocal Coach
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    Laura Farrell (she/her) is a Voice and Dialect Coach living and working on Gadigal land. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Voice from NIDA; a Post Graduate Diploma in Voice from the Victorian College of the Arts; and a Bachelor of Music Theatre from the Victorian College of the Arts. A current lecturer […]

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  • Thinesh Thillainadarajah
    Community Engagement Coordinator
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    Thinesh Thillainadarajah is an Eelam Tamil Queer creative hailing from Toronto, Canada. Whilst his formal training was in law, sound design and music production, his creative interests have been multi-faceted. His ideas around community, multiculturalism and identity were heavily influenced by his upbringing in Toronto and shows up in the work he creates. Thinesh’s previous […]

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  • AARON BEACH
    Executive Producer
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    Aaron has extensive experience in the performing arts management and administration, as well as in community and cultural development; in particular, working with children and young people, emerging practitioners and Indigenous artists. He has a keen interest in developing strategic partnerships, online engagement, lobbying and advocacy.  Aaron is the Deputy Executive Director and Senior Producer […]

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  • Simone Parrott
    Tour Producer
  • Barry Searle
    Production Manager

    After an already extensive freelance career in many aspects of the theatre industry, Barry worked for Sydney Theatre Company as Assistant Technical Manager, then Technical Manager for over 23 years. During that time, he Production Managed a long list of shows including many Wharf Revues. Since leaving STC in 2019 and going back to the […]

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  • Emily Oades
    Stage Manager
  • Sheryl Talmage
    Stage Manager

    Working across the Theatre, Events, Film & Television industries for 35years, Sheryl has faced many varied roles with great confidence & success. Most recently she has taken up a casual Resident Stage Management position with the team at the Sydney Opera House since September 2022. Following the Covid lockdowns of 2021 & 2022 Sheryl returned […]

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  • Ayah Tayeh
    Deputy Stage Manager
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    Born on Wurundjeri land and currently working on Gadigal land, Ayah is a theatre maker with a passion for new work and diverse storytelling. Her credits include: City of Gold (Sydney Theatre Company), The Boomkak Panto (Belvoir), A Room of One’s Own (Belvoir), seven methods of killing kylie jenner (Darlinghurst Theatre Company 2021/2022), My Brilliant […]

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  • Mia Kanzaki
    Assistant Stage Manager
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    Mia Kanzaki is a Sydney based stage manager who is passionate about diverse stories and inclusive practices in the arts. She is a graduate of WAAPA’s Bachelor of Performing Arts (Stage Management). As Stage Manager, her credits include Tiddas (Belvoir) and The Face of Jizo (Red Line Productions). As Assistant Stage Manager, her credits include Holding the Man, Blessed Union, […]

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  • Thomas Houghton
    Head Mechanist
  • Stephen Hendy
    Head of Lighting
  • Gayda de Mesa
    Head of Audio/ Front of House Engineer
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    Gayda de Mesa graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) with a Bachelor of Dramatic Art (Production). She has spent her career in technical production working in theatre and live events. She is currently the Senior Venue Technician for Belvoir St. Theatre. Her recent productions as Sound Engineer include She Loves Me (Hayes […]

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  • Chloe Greaves
    Wardrobe Supervisor
  • Richard Whitehouse
    Head of Production
  • Belinda Crawford
    Head of Wardrobe

AWARDS & ACCOLADES

2020
NSW PREMIER’S LITERARY AWARDS – NICK ENRIGHT PRIZE FOR PLAYWRITING
S. Shakthidharan & Eamon Flack
2020
VICTORIAN PREMIER’S LITERARY AWARD
S. Shakthidharan and Eamon Flack – Belvoir / Co-Curious
2020
VICTORIAN PREMIER’S AWARD FOR DRAMA
S. Shakthidharan and Eamon Flack – Belvoir / Co-Curious
2019
HELPMANN AWARD – BEST PRODUCTION OF A PLAY
Belvoir / Co-Curious
2019
HELPMANN AWARD – BEST NEW AUSTRALIAN WORK
S.Shakthidharan & Eamon Flack – Belvoir / Co-Curious
2019
HELPMANN AWARD – BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY
Eamon Flack & S. Shakthidharan for Belvoir / Co-Curious
2019
HELPMANN AWARD – BEST MALE ACTOR IN A PLAY
Prakash Belawadi – Belvoir / Co-Curious
2019
HELPMANN AWARD – BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A PLAY
Vaishnavi Suryaprakash – Belvoir / Co-Curious
2019
HELPMANN AWARD – BEST SCENIC DESIGN
Dale Ferguson – Belvoir / Co-Curious
2019
HELPMANN AWARD – BEST SOUND DESIGN
Stefan Gregory – Belvoir / Co-Curious
2019
SYDNEY THEATRE AWARD – BEST MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Belvoir / Co-Curious
2019
SYDNEY THEATRE AWARD – BEST NEW AUSTRALIAN WORK
S. Shakthidharan – Belvoir / Co-Curious
2019
SYDNEY THEATRE AWARD – BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Stefan Gregory – Belvoir / Co-Curious
2020
VICTORIAN PREMIER’S LITERARY AWARD
S. Shakthidharan and Eamon Flack

Information
for schools

  • Book your performance

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    TERM TWO

    See this play for:
    LANGUAGE, IDENTITY AND CULTURE

    Recommended for Years 10 – 12

    Curriculum Links

    Drama
    Stage 5
    • Appreciating
      (Outcomes 5.3.1, 5.3.2)
    Stage 6
    Preliminary
    • Element of Production in Performance 
    • Theatrical Traditions and Performance Styles 
    HSC
    • Individual Project: Performance, Scriptwriting, Design 
    • Australian Drama and Theatre: Contemporary Australian Theatre Practice (related text) 
    English
    Stage 5
    • Viewing, Responding (Drama text)
    Stage 6
    Preliminary
    • Narratives that Shape our World (Advanced) (Module A) 
    HSC
    • Texts and Human Experiences (Common Module) (related text)
    • Language, Identity and Culture (Standard) (Module A) 
    • Literary Homelands (Extension 1) (Elective 1) 

    Schools Performances

    All schools performances are followed by a Q&A session with the cast.
    • Fri, 28 Jun 2024 11:30am
    • Thu, 4 Jul 2024 11:30am

    Tickets are only $25 per student with one complimentary teacher ticket for every ten students booked.

    Evening and Matinee Performances

    School groups can book any general public performance. Book our Thursday 1PM matinees for the schools performance price of $25 per ticket, or an evening performance from $45 per student.

    What to expect

    Belvoir creates for a wide audience and our productions may contain mature content. Accurate information about productions including running times and content is available once rehearsals have begun.

    Contact Us

    For more information about our education programs, please get in touch.

    Head of Education Jane May
    Education Coordinator Claudia Ware
    +61 (2) 8396 6241

    Book your performance

    Complete this form to request tickets for Counting and Cracking.
    Want to book multiple productions? Head to our full Schools Booking request

      * Required fields

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