DALARA WILLIAMS: Promise of a new day

Many Sydneysiders will know Dalara Williams who has graced the stages, written many original works and installations showcased on Gadigal/Bidjigal country. So what a fitting addition she makes to premier first nations performance and development centre, Mooghalin Performing Arts, who’s appointment as Artistic Associate sees the original founding team breaking with tradition as the 2021 season navigates a course through new territory. Whatever that means, we will see, but the promise is there.

In 2019, Dalara appeared in Winyanaboga Yurringa at Belvois St Theatre in 2019 as Margie.

Moogahlin has been championing the development of Black artists and performance since 2007. Dalara’s appointment reinforces the company’s commitment to building future arts leadership and helping create opportunities for emerging arts practitioners.

Moogahlin Managing Director Ali Murphy-Oates said “Moogahlin is a company that is by and for our artists and community. The devastating impacts of the industry shut down in 2020 proved the inequity and imbalances of our sector – particularly our over-casualisation of artists and reliance on a gig economy. More than ever we have a responsibility to support and create space for the future of Blak artistic leadership, and Dalara joining us as Artistic Associate is just the beginning.”

She started acting in 2010, enrolling in Eora TAFE and went on to graduate from Australia’s premier acting school NIDA in 2017. 

The Universal Pictures film, Top End Wedding, saw Dalara play Kailah. The film finds comedy in the culture clash of white and first nation Australia, playing one half of the interracial couple alongside Gwilym Lee who plays her boyfriend, Ned.

In the 2021 Moogahlin run Yellamundie Festival, Dalara’s play The Lookout was selected with six other First People’s stories across theatre, dance and composition for a first two-week development with First People actors, directors & dramaturgs. 

As Artistic Associate, Dalara will continue the development of The Lookout in late 2021, working alongside Moogahlin Co-founders Liza-Mare Syron and Lily Shearer, learning from their decades of experience in the performing arts sector. 

Dalara Williams has performed at Darlinghurst Theatre, Belvoir St Theatre, STC, Malthouse, and Ilbijerri. Other screen credits include The Flood, Get Krack!n, and the third and fourth series of ABC’s Black Comedy.

Co-founder & Artistic Director Lily Shearer said “It’s exciting to have Dalara on board the Moogahlin Performing Arts family as our third Artistic Associate, following former Co-Artistic Directors Andrea James and Dr Liza-Mare Syron as Senior Associates. We’ve had an opportunity to walk with Dalara in her development as a story-teller and performing artist over the last 8 years, she brings her experience to share so that the relationship is reciprocal and will be an asset to the team!”

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