I Don’t Wanna Play House




Northern Territory: Alice Springs, Darwin, Katherine, Nhulunbuy, Tennant Creek

About the poster

I Don’t Wanna Play House, produced by Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company, was a gripping and ultimately celebratory one-woman show peopled with boisterous characters, each played with consummate skill by Tammy Anderson.

Based on Anderson’s own peripatetic childhood growing up in Tasmania and Victoria, Anderson’s self-devised show ‘I Don’t Wanna Play House’ was a kinetic swirl of monologue, movement and song. The show explored issues around poverty, racism, physical and emotional violence, child abuse, displacement and trauma in a whirlwind of family yarns, harrowing recollections and hilarious energetic impersonations of family members. The audience was often left heartbroken as Anderson relived the abuse she and her family endured. The story is of love also, told with a singular lack of sentiment and wry humour.

Anderson sets the scene for audiences in the opening moments of the play saying,

In the first 15 years of my life I lived in 16 houses, 3 caravans and went to 12 schools.

A proud Pakana woman of Lutruwita (Tasmania), Anderson is an award winning director and storyteller. ‘I Don’t Want to Play House’ is one of Australia’s longest running shows. The play’s first season was in 2001 at the SBW Stables Theatre in Sydney. Since then it has been presented at national and international festivals, including being invited to be a part of the Women’s International Playwrights Conference in Manila.  It has also played to audiences in Indigenous and non-indigenous communities, Detention Centres, Men and Woman’s Prisons, safety houses, schools, universities and hospitals.

About the Play

Producer Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company

Written, directed and performed by Tammy Anderson (now Tammy Lee Rock)

Northern Territory Tour Manager and Presenter Artback NT

Local Partners Artback NT worked with Araluen Arts Centre, Barkly Regional Arts, Darwin Entertainment Centre, Katherine Regional Arts and Nhulunbuy Corporation ltd to present this acclaimed show through the Northern Territory in July 2010.

‘I Don’t Wanna Play House’ also received national media acclaim.

Anderson’s story deserves to become a classic of Aboriginal Theatre.

Helen Thompson, The Age

Anderson’s performance is compelling, and her optimism inspirational.

Martin Ball, The Australian

Lisa Knight, Arafura Times, 28 July, 2012