It has been announced that Belvoir’s award-winning Counting and Cracking, the theatrical hit of the Sydney Festival in 2019, will make its American debut in New York City at NYU’s Skirball Center in September, following a revival season that sees it play in Melbourne’s RISNG Festival and at Sydney’s Carriageworks.

Presented in partnership with The Public Theater and NYU Skirball, Counting and Cracking tells the story of a Sri Lankan-Australian family over four generations. It has already played overseas seasons in the United Kingdom in 2022.

Belvoir’s Counting and Cracking (2019). Photo © Brett Boardman

“Taking Counting and Cracking to the New York is something of a cultural moment,” says Eamon Flack, Belvoir’s Artistic Director and the director and associate writer of Counting and Cracking.

“Of course, Australian plays have been to New York before, but this is an Australian play set largely in Sri Lanka, with a cast from six different countries, performed in five different languages, and a touring party of 40. It’s crazy to take this show anywhere, let alone to New York.”

The production will be unveiled during America’s presidential election campaign, a fact that hasn’t escaped Flack. “That’s apt for a play about the politics of division and the possibilities of reconciliation.”

S Shakthidharan and Eamon Flack. Photo supplied

S. Shakthidharan, writer and associate director of Counting and Cracking said, “For so long, in the creative industries, we have looked to Europe and North America as a place to imitate; to model ourselves upon. What thrills me about Counting and Cracking going to New York is that perhaps there is a greater power in telling stories that can only be our own – in sharing that uniquely Australian perspective with the world.”

“I’m beyond thrilled that this humble, epic story – born out of the suburbs of Western Sydney and the memories of my ancestors – has been picked up by the same company that premiered Hamilton and Angels in America.”

Counting and Cracking plays at the Union Theatre, University of Melbourne, 31 May–23 June; Carriageworks, Sydney, 28 June–21July, and NYU Skirball Center, New York City, 6–22 September.

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