Moreblessing Maturure teams up with the Afro Sistahs on culturally diverse projects
Moreblessing Maturure (Photo credit: Kristina Yenko).
Moreblessing Maturure plans to make her screen directing debut on a segment of MASC (working title), an online anthology which examines modern masculinity through female and non-binary lenses.
Separately the Zimbabwean/Australian writer/performer is developing several projects with the Afro Sistahs Collective.
MASC’s key creative drivers, Laura Nagy and Madeleine Gottlieb, invited Maturure to become the eighth member of the team, joining Renée Marie Petropoulos, Hyun Lee, Imogen McCluskey, Shari Sebbens and Cloudy Rhodes.
Developed with Screen Australia’s support, the anthology explores different stages of the subjects’ lives in ascending age, beginning with a young child and ending with an older man.
“The series has a particular focus on diversity, exploring masculinity through the lens of different cultures, sexualities and gender identities,” Easy Tiger’s Rob Gibson, who is co-executive producer with RevLover Films’ Martha Coleman, tells IF.
“The development process has been extremely collaborative, with all eight writer-directors work-shopping each other’s scripts.”
Maturure tells IF her segment will be set in a barbers’ shop and will focus on how ideas about masculinity are taught and learned.
She had planned to write and direct the immersive play Milk & Honey & Lemons at the Next Wave Festival in Melbourne, which was cancelled due to COVID-19.
The play, which was to have been staged in a house in suburban Sunshine, revolved around Daniel Gabriel playing a young black boy from the ages of 13 to 18. She now hopes to develop the work into a binaural audio drama with support from the Australia Council.
‘Afro Sistahs’ (Photo credit: Angus Bell Young).
One of the Afro Sistahs collective’s projects is Afro Sistahs, an online comedy/drama which, co-incidentally, is set in a Western Sydney Afro hair salon.
The collective comprises producers Safia Amadou Hamidou and Mumbi Hinga, director Hawanatu Bangura and writers Moreblessing Maturure and Rebekah Robertson.
Supported by Screen Australia’s story development, the series will follow four eclectic “sistahs” as they learn the hard way they’re going to need more than Afro picks, hot combs and rollers to untangle the mess of their lives.
The collective is also working with Melbourne-based Betiel Beyin and Leigh Lule on Ceebs (slang for can’t be bothered), an online comedy about two 18-year-olds who strive to become adults in the three months between graduating from high school and starting university.
The creative director of FOLK Magazine, her work across literature, stage and screen as writer and performer has included engagements with Playwriting Australia, Australian Theatre for Young People and Sydney Theatre Company. She has also worked with STC, Darlinghurst and Outhouse Theatres as dramaturg, outreach producer and cultural advisor.
Her screen acting credits include the Nine Network’s Seachange and the shorts Risen and Searching for Babel.
Maturure in ‘SeaChange’
Last November she was among 11 creatives selected to take part in Screen Australia’s Developing the Developer workshop co-run by Louise Gough, Kodie Bedford and Screen Australia’s industry development executive Bali Padda.
“That was one of my most valued professional development experiences,” she says. “The program gave me the tools to understand and interpret narrative stories that were not my works.”
Also on her slate is the play No Pink Dicks, a comedic anthology exploring the space between the personal and the political in inter-racial relationships – platonic, familial and romantic – with support from Playwriting Australia and the Darlinghurst Theatre Company.
In November, COVID-19 permitting, she will star in Jasmine Lee-Jones’ Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner at Belvoir Theatre, collaborating with Gemma Bird Matheson and director Shari Sebbens.
Blending real life and online culture, the play follows a young black woman who takes to Twitter to voice her frustration with white women profiting off black culture and stereotypes.
After high school she enrolled in the University of NSW to study psychology but only lasted one semester after deciding that acting and writing were her priorities.
“My ideal version of my life is being able to do a myriad of creative things, cover my bills and live relatively comfortably without having a day job,” she says.