Rachael Coopes with Wayne Blair

David Page & Fraser Corfield

Narek Arman, Michael Cameron, Rachael Coopes, Elena Foreman, Hunter Page-Lochard, Dubs Yunupingu.

Sugarland provides a glimpse into a teenage Australia that feels like a foreign country. This haunting new play will make you pause, make you smile, make you wonder how much can be real.

Erica's Dad is in the RAAF so her life gets a transplant every few years. Now she's in year eleven she's stopped trying to fit in. What does it matter; she'll be out of there in a few years anyway. Nina's good at school but that's not important. She needs a house to live in. And she needs it soon.  She's been living at her Auntie's so she can go to school in town, but that's not working out.

The only thing Erica and Nina have in common is the music they listen to. Sometimes that's enough.

Inspiring and award-winning, the national youth theatre company, ATYP,  is excited to present the world premiere season of a brand new Australian work inspired by the young people of Katherine in the Northern Territory.

In 2011, playwrights Rachael Coopes (Art House) and Wayne Blair (The Sapphire, Bloodland, The Gods of Wheat Street) engaged in a series of residencies in the town of Katherine (NT). The aim was to create a story that would allow audiences around the country to gain a personal understanding of what life is like growing up in remote Australia.

Iconic composer and actor David Page (Bangarra Dance Theatre) makes his directing debut collaborating with ATYP’s Artistic Director Fraser Corfield. Sugarland was presented back to the community of Katherine before opening at the Darwin Festival in August 2014 and has now transferred to ATYP in Sydney for a 3 week season.

Set Design Jacob Nash

Costume Design Ruby Langton-Batty

Lighting Design Juz McGuire

Sound Design Guy Webster

Commissioned by
Australian Theatre for Young People

for ages 15+

The Sugarland production has been made possible thanks to the generous support of the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation (TFFF), the Westpac Foundation and the Australia Council.


"Bittersweet Katherine tale shared in play" Katherine Times

Radio National talks to the Cast and Creatives of SUGARLAND Listen NOW!

"Small-town life is bitter-sweet for teens in Sugarland" SMH

"ATYP targets younger audiences with Sugarland" The Australian











 Sugarland Context: The Place          

See a snapshot of Katherine, the town in which SUGARLAND is set. Explore the town through the eyes of its Young People. 




 Sugarland Context: The People 

Go behind the scenes of ATYPs new work SUGARLAND. Meet the people in the town of Katheine NT, some of whom were inspiration for the types of characters that appear in the play. Consider what life might be like for the transient population of this Australian Town.




 Young Perspectives:                 

What is it like to live in Katherine? Hear about it from the young residents of the town. 






What is Shame? Find out from the young people of Katherine what Shame is and how it effects their lives.




Learning Resources: CONTEXT












 The Katherine Project: Kicking Up Dust

Artistic Director Fraser Corfield talks about how SUGARLAND came about



Find out more about ATYP's Regional Residency Programs HERE


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