Question Three. The way a play is staged can have a significant effect on the meanings made by the audience. To what extent have choices n the staging of No Sugar contributed to the meanings you have made concerning ethnicity and identity.
The post-colonialist play No Sugar, penned by playwright Jack Davis in nineteen eighty six, invites the audience to critique (and ultimately condemn) the ethnocentrism and ideologies supported by white Anglo-Saxon Christians in the early nineteen thirties in Western Australia. The play follows the Millimurra family, of the Nyoongah people, as they experience racism within the small town of Northam, and are forcefully moved to the Moore River Native Settlement by non-Indigenous officials. The playwright…show more content… The wetjala spaces have “square or rectangular walls,” and the police station is elevated to symbolise the colonial valorisation of imperial domination. The sterile setting of courtrooms and offices were selected by the playwright to signify the Non-Indigenous people’s intention to possess and dominate land by building permanent structures to assert their superiority. In this way a dichotomy regarding the treatment of land is introduced between the two groups. Place identity is an important concept introduced in No Sugar, which deals with the interaction between how the local environment, including geographical location, ethnic traditions and family heritage influence the people’s lives.
Davis employs stage directions and dialogue to convey the importance of place as a characteristic of the Nyoongah peoples’ ethnic and cultural identity. In the beginning of Act Three, Scene One Joe says [bitterly] to Mary, “Burned everything, those bastards!... Come on. I’m gunna show you my country. [Joe picks up his shirt and a billy of water, which he tips on the fire. He leads MARY off into the darkness.]. These stage directions reveal the significance of place as an aspect of a Nyoongah person’s identity, and the distress experienced if this environment is destroyed.
The Nyoongah people’s understanding and appreciation of land is simply portrayed a the stage direction indicating that the [magpies