Exploring identity and culture
MONO|STEREO is a 6-month theatre development program led by Melbourne-based playwright Didem Caia, which will document the stories of local residents. Caia will be working with a small group participants from the Tuggeranong and Woden regions who self-identify as being other to or outside of the mainstream, dominant culture of suburban Canberra. Through a series of workshops, the participants will explore the intersections and separations between individual identity and collective culture, what it means to belong or not belong to place and how place reflects, challenges or conceals our identities. The project will result in a set of original monologues, written by Caia, which will form the basis of a ‘Stage 2’ outcome.
Didem is a writer, speaker and facilitator, who grew up in the western suburbs of Melbourne. She is a writer of plays, essays and fiction. Her plays have been produced and developed in Melbourne, Sydney, Edinburgh, London, New York and Chicago. She has received development grants through the Australian Arts Council, Ian Potter Cultural Trust, Copyright Agency, Melbourne City Council and Western Chances Scholarship Program. Her plays Vile, Isolation, Work in Progress and the University of Longing have all been funded through Melbourne funding bodies. Vile was shortlisted for a number of Australian theatre awards, and in 2016 was shortlisted for the Theatre 503 New Play award in London. In 2015 she travelled to the UK and US to take part in a number of theatre festivals and showcase her plays. Her essays and fiction have been published through Currency House Press, australianplays.org, Meanjin, Yen magazine, Express Media, Artshub and The Age. Her work draws on her mixed cultural heritage and she fuses personal stories of the working class and home, to bring light to the many facets of being Australian. She has worked as a facilitator and creator with the Emerging Writers Festival, Dandenong City Council, Victorian Drama League and Writers Victoria. Didem received a Graduate Diploma in Dramatic Art from Victoria University when she was 16 through recognition for prior learning, and is also a graduate of RMIT, NIDA and the VCA.