Adelaide Fringe

Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute Launches First Nations Artist Hub To Celebrate 30 Years

The culturally curated program is completely dedicated to First Nations artists and creatives, relaunching the entire space as a hub where artists from local, national and global communities feel welcome to gather together.

2020 marks 30 years since Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute was founded and then evolved into South Australia’s focus point for First Nations living cultures from the ancient lands.

Tandanya is recognised as Australia’s only First Nations Cultural Institute, situated in Adelaide on Kaurna Country, the land of the Red Kangaroo.

Tandanya announce a celebration of their 30-year anniversary by presenting the inaugural Tandanya Fringe 2020: First Nations Hub’, as part of the 2020 Adelaide Fringe from Friday 14 February through to Sunday 15 March.

The culturally curated program is completely dedicated to First Nations artists and creatives, relaunching the entire space as a hub where artists from local, national and global communities feel welcome to gather together.

“From October 2019 to October 2020, Tandanya is celebrating its 30-year anniversary. The current board, CEO and staff are working towards establishing Tandanya as a national hub for high quality visual and performing arts. We are focusing on the future and a new vision. Being a part of the iconic Adelaide Fringe is a great way to do this and to let the community know that we are standing strong, our doors are open to everyone,” said Tandanya Chief Executive Officer, Dennis Stokes.

Senior Kaurna Custodian of Country/ Tandanya Board member, Karl Telfer said, “We haven’t created something new, we have strengthened our cultural circle and invite all communities to share in our circle and become connected through experiencing what our cultures have to offer.”

In 2020, Tandanya have partnered with Adelaide Fringe to host their signature event, Yabarra: Dreaming In Light’. Last year, Yabarra lit up the banks of the River Torrens drawing huge crowds.

This year, and for all 31 days and nights of the Fringe, audiences are invited to come and experience Yabarra as a unique indoor cultural experience which will engage, immerse and educate all who share the Dreaming In Light.

Tandanya will also present a lineup of high calibre productions programmed and managed internally, which offers something for everyone across the genres of theatre, dance, cabaret, music, film, comedy and visual arts. At the heart of the First Nations Hub experience are very limited exclusive runs of the theatrical productions ‘I Don’t Wanna Play House’ and ‘The Daly River Girl’.

‘I Don’t Wanna Play House’ is Pakana woman, Tammy Anderson’s, critically acclaimed one-woman show, a kinetic swirl of monologue, movement and song which relives the abuse she and her family endured. Tammy presents a gripping and ultimately celebratory performance, evoking her consummate skill at differentiating the members of her family.

Tammy will also share her 30-year journey as a theatre and film maker, writer and director, in an artist talk event, ‘On The Couch With Tammy Anderson’ (Sunday 15th March @ 2pm).

I Don’t Wanna Play House’ runs Friday 13 to Saturday 14 March for three performances only.

The Daly River Girl

The Daly River Girl’ depicts writer/actor Tessa Rose’s journey growing up with foster families, away from her natural mother, family and country. It is a deeply personal story that travels through adolescence to womanhood, the cruelty of domestic violence and the resilience to overcome obstacles on her own.

The Daly River Girl’ runs Saturday 29 February to Sunday 1 March for three performances only.

Each Saturday night of the Fringe will see the Tandanya Theatre host ‘Black List Cabaret’, a cabaret riot of A-list First Nations artists of colour from across the festival, hosted and curated by 2020 Adelaide Fringe Ambassador – the formidable Fez Fa’anana.

Black List Cabaret With Fez Fa’anana

Tandanya Café will also relaunch during Fringe into a revitalised multi-purpose space featuring an impressive lineup of First Nations live music across every weekend, including late night DJ’s sessions on Saturday and Sunday nights 10pm – 1am. Café by day and bar by night, Tandanya Café will offer a food menu including local and native ingredients, with daily food/drink and cocktail specials for Fringe Artists.

Tandanya are offering the opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to train in the kitchen, café and front of house, with the aim of being able to support the community through volunteer and employment opportunities for years to come.


Rounding out the ‘something for everyone’ program is a cracking lineup of comedians, the 2019 Adelaide Fringe Best Emerging Artist award winner Spirit performed by Yellaka, live music by artists including Melbourne based electronic dance duo The Merindas and Adelaide’s very own Nathan May, an indigenous contemporary dance masterclass, free film screenings and a weekly free cultural workshop series.

Tickets to the above shows can be purchased through FringeTix here.

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