The Joan

Emele Ugavule & Ayeesha Ash

Black Birds 

The self titled and first full length theatircal show produced by Black Birds is an innovative ensemble of stories from the lives of Ayeesha Ash & Emele Ugavule that show the subversive marginalisation they experience due to the colour of their skin. It was produced through The Q at The Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre Penrith.


Emele Ugavule & Ayeesha Ash

Creators, Performers & Directors: Ayeesha Ash & Emele Ugavule

Choreographer: Sarah Vai

Lighting Designer: Amber Silk

Stage Manager: Olivia Benson

Dramaturg: Sopa Enari

Production Designer: Tyler Ray Hawkins

Sound Designer: Ben Pierpoint

Photographer: Joshua Bentley

"The show isn’t so much a play, or a talk, or anything like theatre goers are used to. Instead, it’s a mixture of music and stories, dancing and poetryIt's frenetic, its fast paced - it's life." - Concrete Playground
Emele Ugavule & Ayeesha Ash. Photograph: Joshua Bentley

The Joan - Q Lab Development April & December 2016

Two part development over a period of one month in 2016/17 leading up to the April season of Black Birds at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre.

'You Can't Play With Us.'

April Development, Day 3 - Ayeesha Ash.

Rehearsing concepts.

December Development, Day 3 - Ayeesha Ash and Emele Ugavule. 

Re-connecting & planning.

December development, Day 5 - Ayeesha Ash & Emele Ugavule.


Ayeesha Ash

Emele Ugavule

Kirsty Marillier

Meklit Kibret

Moreblessing Maturere

Ben Pierpoint