US Premiere

Theater, Music

March 22-25


ILBIJERRI Theatre Company (Australia)
Jack Charles V The Crown

Uncle Jack Charles is an award-winning actor, accomplished musician, indigenous elder and activist, but for a good portion of his 72 years was also considered an addict, thief and a regular throughout the Australian prison system.

Jack Charles V The Crown tells the true story of a life lived to its utmost – from film sets to prisons to 70s Koori theater to the Stolen Generation of Australia’s indigenous children. Charles’ unswerving optimism transforms a tale of addiction, crime and doing prison time into the story of a vagabond’s progress. It is a map of the traps of dispossession and a guide to reaching the age of grey-haired wisdom.

Accompanied by a three-piece band, this one-man show celebrates a nearly forgotten Australian treasure from Australia’s leading and longest running Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander theater company.

“Jack Charles exceptionally engaging, well-told story is all his own. He has us spellbound as we sit around his campfire. In many ways, too, it’s the story of Australia. Just not the one we’re used to hearing.” – CRIKEY, Australia


Performer, Co-Writer: Jack Charles
Musical Director: Nigel Maclean
Percussion: Phil Collings
Bass: Malcolm Beveridge
Co-writer, Dramaturge: John Romeril
Director: Rachael Maza
Set & Costume Design: Emily Barrie
Lighting Designer: Danny Pettingill
Audio Visual Designer: Peter Worland
Tour Producer: Performing Lines

ILBIJERRI (pronounced ‘il BIDGE er ree) is a Woiwurrung (Indigenous Australian language spoken by the Wurundjeri people) word meaning ‘Coming Together for Ceremony’. ILBIJERRI is Australia’s leading and longest running Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Theatre Company.

We create challenging and inspiring theatre creatively controlled by Indigenous artists. Our stories are provocative and affecting and give voice to our unique cultures. Each year we travel to national, regional and remote locations across Australia and the world.

Born from community, ILBIJERRI has become a spearhead for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in telling our stories of what it means to be Indigenous in Australia today. Our work possesses the power to reach out and remind audiences of every person’s need for family, history and heritage.

Our collaborative relationships with communities and artists are at the heart of our creative process and all our work empowers and enlightens our audiences.
For more information, visit ilbijerri.com.au.

ILBIJERRI Theatre Company

Located in the heart of Chelsea in New York City, New York Live Arts is an internationally recognized destination for innovative movement-based artistry offering audiences access to art and artists notable for their conceptual rigor, formal experimentation and active engagement with the social, political and cultural currents of our times.

At the center of its identity is Artistic Director Bill T. Jones, world-renowned choreographer, dancer, theater director and writer. New York Live Arts serves as home base for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company and is the company’s sole producer, providing support and the environment to originate innovative and challenging new work. New York Live Arts produces and presents dance, music and theater performances in its 20,000 square foot home, which includes a 184-seat theater and two 1,200 square foot studios that can be combined into one large studio. New York Live Arts offers an extensive range of participatory programs for adults and young people and supports the continuing professional development of artists and commissions. newyorklivearts.org.

New York Live Arts

Featured image by Bindi Cole.

Jack Charles V The Crown is co-presented by Performance Space 122 and New York Live Arts with support from the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, Barragga Bay Fund, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State Legislature, and was co-curated by Performance Space 122 and the City of Melbourne’s Arts House. ILBIJERRI acknowledges the assistance of the Australian Government, through the Indigenous Arts & Languages Program, the Catalyst program, the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria; the City of Melbourne and Performing Lines.

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