The Age of Bones<br>(Jaman Bulalang)

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Riverside Theatres presents

The Age of Bones
(Jaman Bulalang)

Venue Lennox Theatre
Dates 22 March - 25 March 2017
Category Live Event

by Sandra Thibodeaux
A Satu Bulan Theater/Performing Lines co-production
Toured by Performing Lines

The Age of Bones (Jaman Belulang) is an Australian-Indonesian play about a boy, Ikan, who goes fishing one day and fails to return. Assuming the worst, his parents hire a legendary seafarer to look for his corpse. He finds nothing. The Age of Bones traces what happened to Ikan – from the day he left to his eventual imprisonment in Australia. The Age of Bones is mostly set under the ocean. It is a fantastical piece that will be realised on stage through shadow puppets, video and music, as well as text. While it has a dramatic core, the play is satirical. The themes are cushioned with physical comedy and presented within a visual aesthetic that will appeal to young audiences.

The stunning Indonesian-Australian co-production by award-winning playwright Sandra Thibodeaux, The Age of Bones (Jaman Belulang), will be performed at Riverside Theatres from 22nd to 25th March. A biting satire with family appeal, The Age of Bones will spark conversation on a controversial chapter in recent Australian history. Combining traditional Indonesian shadow puppetry with music and digital projection, the show is inspired by the real-life stories of approximately 60 underage Indonesian boys who were allegedly jailed in Australia for working on refugee boats.

“I wanted to look at this serious subject in a way that was a bit more magical, a bit more fun,” said Thibodeaux. “To avoid the heaviness of realistic jail and court scenes, I took all the Australian scenes literally ‘down under’, beneath the ocean. The lawyer became a White Pointer; the judge an octopus.”

“I came across these stories when my own son was about 15, and so a chord was struck. There was widespread concern in Australia at the time about the treatment of Australian live cattle in Indonesia. This was all over the news, while the story about the Indonesian boys was not. It seemed that an Australian steer was of greater value than an Indonesian boy in public discourse.”

Dates & Times
Wednesday 22nd March at 7.30pm
Thursday 23rd March at 11am (School Groups + Drama Club Members only)
Friday 24th March at 7.30pm
Saturday 25th March at 7.30pm

Writer Sandra Thibodeaux
Co-Directors Iswadi Pratama & Alex Galeazzi
Composer & Sound design Panos Couros
Puppetry (Dalang) Made Sidia & Wayan Sira
Lighting Ahmad Jusmar
Digital design Mic Gruchy
Translator Kadek Krishna Adidharma

A Satu Bulan/Performing Lines Co-Production

Sandra Thibodeaux (playwright/producer) is a playwright and poet. She has written over a dozen plays that have been staged as part of festivals and broadcast on Radio National. Her latest plays include The Lion Tamer (winner of the 2012 Darwin Festival Script Award) and Mr Takahashi (and other falling secrets) (short-listed for the Patrick White Playwright’s Award). Since 2003, Sandra has worked with Indonesian writers and artists on literary and theatrical projects, including: Katakan Padaku (Ubud); Diburu Waktu (Darwin Festival); and TERRA (a bilingual literary anthology). The Age of Bones (Jaman Belulang) was recently shortlisted for the Griffin Award.

Iswadi Pratama (set designer/co-director) is an Indonesian director, writer, designer and actor. He is one of the leading creatives at Teater Satu that has been lauded as Indonesia’s best theatre troupe (Tempo magazine). Some of his theatre works include: Ruang Sekarat, Rampok, Ikhau, Nak, Menunggu Saat Makan, Dongeng tentang Air, and Aruk Gugat.

Alex Galeazzi (dramaturge/co-director) (BA Perf Arts Nepean / Dip. Directing NIDA), directed the debut production of The Boys for which he received a Sydney Theatre Critics Circle Award. In 1992, Alex assisted Wayne Harrison on his London production of Michael Gow’s On Top of the World. In the 1990s Alex worked on productions with STC and Opera Australia. He directed the premiere of Alana Valentine’s Singing the Lonely Heart. Other shows he has directed in Sydney include: Angels in America, Ball Game and the STC All Star Cabaret. Alex’s theatrical credits in Darwin include: director First Astronomers & Drags Aloud with the Sistagirls; director/dramaturge The Lion Tamer; director Gods of Carnage and The Glass Menagerie.

Suitable for Years 9 – 12

SCHOOL TICKETS $22 per student/additional teacher (1 teacher free per 20 students)


This brand new work by award-winning Darwin based writer, Sandra Thibodeaux,
contemporary Australian story. Without making light of the stories it tells, The
Age of Bones mythologises events to create a level of abstraction that leaves
the most haunted impression. A brilliant study in dramatic form and oral tradition,
this is a very useful supporting text for studies in journeys, belonging and the
refugee experience as well as addressing the general capabilities of ETHICAL and


  1. USE BOOKING FORM, DOWNLOAD IT OR COMPLETE IT ONLINE All bookings require a completed Booking Form. Risk assessments and education support materials (where provided) are available online.
  2. SEND YOUR BOOKING FORM TO US Complete online (preferred), fax, email or post your booking form to Riverside Education Fax: 02 9683 3267 Scan and email: Mail: Riverside Education, PO Box 3636, Parramatta, NSW, 2124.

N.B. Please do not send any payments with your booking form. Riverside will confirm your booking and then issue a tax invoice for your deposit. Bookings are made in strict order of receipt. Please ensure you have given a valid email address on your booking form as this is our main method of communication.

  1. RIVERSIDE WILL CONFIRM YOUR BOOKING Riverside will confirm your booking and invoice the school for a non-refundable 25% deposit. Teachers receive complimentary seating on a 20:1 ratio (unless otherwise stipulated). Once you have paid your deposit, your booking is secure and Riverside will issue an invoice for full payment.
  2. FINAL PAYMENT Full payment is required 4 weeks prior to the performance date. If we do not receive payment OR proof of your DoE purchase order, we have the right to cancel your booking and you will forfeit your deposit.

PUBLIC SCHOOLS – DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (DoE) PAYMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The DoE takes 30 days from an invoice being submitted to payment being received by Riverside, therefore we MUST have full payment OR proof that the purchase order has been submitted to the DoE no later than four weeks prior to the performance date. This is a new system for many public schools so we strongly recommend receiving monies and permission slips at least 7 weeks before the payment is due. This will allow any final changes in numbers (subject to availability). We cannot reduce numbers after payment has been received.

ALL OTHER SCHOOLS (INCLUDING INDEPENDENT AND CATHOLIC) Confirmation of final numbers and final balance is required four weeks prior to the performance date. A reduction of numbers is not permitted after this date.

An increase of numbers is possible after the final payment day but is subject to availability. Please note, all school bookings made within 4 school weeks of a performance date must be paid in full within 1 week of confirmation and are final. There are no refunds or changes to numbers or dates on these bookings.

  1. FINAL INFORMATION SENT TO SCHOOLS Prior to your visit, we will send you detailed information via email to ensure you have a hassle-free excursion. This will include updating you on any possible changes to running times or more detailed information as it emerges from the rehearsal process.
  2. ATTEND AND ENJOY! If you have concerns about meeting the terms and conditions, please email or call 02 8839 3308.

STUDENT AND TEACHER RESOURCES For curriculum links click here

SCHOOLS ACCESS AT RIVERSIDE For information on access at Riverside Theatre please click here.

DOWNLOAD A SOCIAL STORY Download the social story for Riverside Theatre here.


Image Credit – M Aria Gibran

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Ticket Prices

Adult $42
Groups 10+ $37
Concession $37
Under 30's $28
Member - Adult $32
Member - Concession $27
Member - Under 30's $20
School Students & Teacher Groups $22

Transaction fees apply

Phone $4.60
Web $3.60
Counter $2.60
Screen $1.65
School Bookings $4.00