Blak Box is stripped back storytelling — up-close and personal in a surround sound environment.

Blak Box embraces the First Peoples concept of ‘deep listening’. In NSW, the word for deep listening is Ngara. In the Yorta Yorta language of the Murray River in Victoria it is Gulpa Ngawal. An Indigenous understanding of deep listening is based on stories, silences and the spaces that lie between.

Blak Box will play ‘home’ to commissioned works and stories by First Peoples artists as part of UTP’s B-Side program.


In 2017, UTP commissioned Vicki Van Hout and Travis Cardona, two writers from the B-Side program to develop full-length works, specifically written for Blak Box.


TRAVIS CARDONAis from Darwin NT. His family stretches from Malak Malak, Tiwi, Iwaidja to the Torres Strait Islands. Travis completed a Bachelor of Dramatic Art at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney 2009. He has worked in film, TV and theatre over the past 10 years. For B-Side long-form, Travis is developing a sound work based on the notion of shame.

VICKI VAN HOUTis a Wiradjuri woman born on the south coast of NSW. An independent choreographer, award winning performance-maker and teacher, she has worked across a range of performance mediums nationally and internationally. During her B-Side residency, Vicki created a short work titled The Umbrella that she is now developing further for Blak Box.

The Umbrella was pitched on the lawns of what is now known as Old Parliament House in lieu of a tent, marking the inception of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy. The Umbrella is set in the present about a brief relationship between a woman and an unsung 1970’s hero, a retired political activist, who fought for Aboriginal human rights, now existing in relative anonymity in outer Sydney suburbia.