Lysa and the Freeborn Dames a conversation starter

Jopuka Productions celebrates turning five Photo: Lisa Haymes

In exciting news for theatregoers, Jopuka Productions has partnered with Red Tree Theatre and Sixt5 Productions to present their rendition of Claire Christian’s Lysa and the Freeborn Dames.

This is their first major show since lockdown and will be playing at the Red Tree Theatre from November 19-28.

Featuring a live rock band and a stellar cast of some of the Central Coast’s finest theatre performers including lead actor and life member, Warnervale’s Charlotte Cooke, Lysa and the Freeborn Dames explores a wild and fun explosion of female empowerment.

The show follows 19-year-old Lysa who returns home to rural Australia after a year away and a personal
political awakening.

Emboldened and inspired by the Women’s Marches she has watched unfolding across the world, Lysa stages her own protest on the eve of the War Weekender, an annual football game and the town’s biggest event of the year.

Director, Rosie Ross, is excited to be shining a light on social issues and hopes to promote important conversations within the local community.

“Lysa and the Freeborn Dames gives airtime to the real frustration that continues with gender inequality.

“Through the varied perspectives of gender, status, sexuality and experiences, this show will encourage open dialogue that will hopefully lead to a more positive and inclusive culture for all people,” Ross said.

Making this show even more special is the fact it coincides with Jopuka Productions’
fifth birthday.

Since forming in 2016, Jopuka Productions has become one of Australia’s leading regional youth
arts providers.

Artistic Director, Joshua Maxwell, said this show is the perfect way to reflect on Jopuka Productions’ achievements over the past five years, while also celebrating the end of the crazy couple of years they have endured.

“2021 was meant to be our big fifth birthday bash, but it turned into a repeat of 2020, with a whole bunch of replanning, restaging, worrying, stressing, and applying for grants and support.

“Lysa and the Freeborn Dames is a vital piece of storytelling, but it is also hilarious, messy and glitter-filled.

“Right now, we all need to hear this story.

“There is a line in the show, this place is every place, and it is incredibly true.

“I hope the Central Coast embraces the show and it’s message,” Maxwell said.

Tickets for Lysa and the Freeborn Dames can be booked via the Elderslee Foundation website.

Jopuka Productions is the Central Coast’s leading Youth Arts body.

It was established specifically to provide performing arts training and development to a wide array of emerging artists, aged from 12-26.

Jopuka has staged over 25 acclaimed productions, including a range of new and established works including Cockhead, Daisy Moon, The Peach Season, Transcendence and Brutal.

Harry Mulholland