Game set match – Evonne Goolagong world premiere to headline new Wiradjuri festival

The glittering World Premiere of Sunshine Super Girl, a brand new theatre work celebrating National Living Treasure and sporting legend Evonne Goolagong-Cawley, will be the centrepiece of the inaugural Yarruwala Wiradjuri Cultural Festival, in Griffith this October.

It was ‘Love All’ when Griffith Regional Theatre secured the highly sought after rights to premiere Sunshine Super Girl, by Yorta Yorta Gunnakurnai playwright and director Andrea James, produced by Performing Lines, with Melbourne Theatre Company and major national festivals amongst the other contenders.

Griffith Regional Arts and Museum Manager, Raina Savage never doubted the work would premiere on Wiradjuri country.

Ms Savage said, “Evonne was born in Griffith, and when we consulted the Wiradjuri community about the project, they were adamant that her story should open where it had its roots, on her traditional country.”

Sunshine Super Girl is a quintessentially Australian story about an Aboriginal girl from the bush who, with the support of a small farming town and her loving family, became a world tennis champion and household name at the tender age of 19.

Evonne won 92 professional tournaments and was a finalist in 18 Grand Slam events and seven singles – winning Wimbledon twice, the French Open once and the Australian Open four times. Her heart-warming story is a celebration of spirit and passion over privilege and discrimination; and a tribute to a great Wiradjuri woman who overcame racism and disadvantage and inspired a nation.

The Sunshine Super Girl World Premiere on Wednesday 7 October is the jewel in the crown of Yarruwala Wiradjuri Cultural Festival, an exciting new festival promoting and celebrating Wiradjuri arts and culture in the Western Riverina. A spectacular Wiradjuri Cultural Ceremony will welcome VIP guests onto country for the event.

Griffith Mayor, Councillor John Dal Broi is looking forward to what he expects to be an exciting celebration of Wiradjuri arts and culture.

“The Yarruwala Wiradjuri Cultural Festival will be a fantastic event and I am extremely pleased that our Theatre and community get to be part of it,” he said.

Meaning ‘very strong, powerful’ in the Wiradjuri language, the full Yarruwala Festival Program will be launched in a live-streamed gala event at Regional Art Gallery on Saturday 15August curated by Creative Director Kerry Johnson. Due to COVID-19, the launch will be a digital event.

The festival program features Aboriginal arts and cultural experiences and events in the Griffith, Leeton, Murrumbidgee, Narranderra and Jerilderie LGAs.

Creative Director Ms Johnson said, “The festival is a ground-breaking cultural occasion to bring the communities together, as we celebrate Evonne Goolagong-Cawley’s life-time achievements. An integral element will be to look back to our roots, remember the sacrifices and be inspired to continue the legacy.”

Sunshine Super Girl premieres on Wednesday 7 October, with performances on 8th -10October at 7.30pm, and matinee on Saturday 10 October at 2pm.

Tickets for Sunshine Super Girl are available from Monday 27 July through Griffith Regional Theatre Box Office at 1 Neville Place, Griffith, or contact the theatre on 02 6962 8444.

The Yarruwala Festival Program Launch is at Griffith Regional Art Gallery on Saturday 15 August but will be available on-line. Attendance numbers are strictly limited.

/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.