Nathan Maynard on A Not So Traditional Story

When Wurangkili and Timita meet a mysterious alien, they are forced to embark on an epic quest for answers.

Nathan Maynard

A Not So Traditional Story is the brainchild of Nathan Maynard and acclaimed production company Terrapin. Combining fiction and fun with real stories of Indigenous culture, the show tells a wonderful tale of culture, bravery, and friendship.

Tasmanian-Born Nathan is a writer, dancer, performer, and advocate for Aboriginal artists. An accomplished playwright, many of Nathan’s plays have been performed Australia Wide. He was the recipient of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Artist of the Year Award in both 2006 and 2013. As well as being the writer, Nathan will be performing in A Not So Traditional Story.

I had a quick chat with Nathan about his connection with the story, and just why you should go see this play!

Could you tell me a bit about yourself and your history with performing?

I’m a Pakana man from the Trawlwoolway nation of Lutrawita/Tasmania. I’m from both the Maynard and Mansell families with strong connections to the Furneaux Islands in the Bass Strait. I’m a daggy dad, who enjoys spending time with his kids, pulling daggy dad jokes in my daggy dad Kmart get up. I live off the grid, on country, in a shipping container, that I’m busy refurnishing into my dream hut. My introduction into the professional theatre realm was through Terrapin as an actor for a Finegan Kruckemeyer play titled Shadow Dreams in 2013. Since then I have done more writing than acting, but I’m glad to be treading the boards again… as those thespians say. I’m also very grateful to have met Terrapin, it’s been a game changer for my life.

What has been the most exciting part of writing and performing in this show?

Oh, definitely working with the talented team Terrapin has assembled to put this show together; it’s a cracker! AND, AND, AND…the team has consisted of seven Pakana/Palawa people, which is a not only amazing but a first in professional theatre.

We don’t often hear about the Aboriginal tribes in Tasmania – what is one thing you’d like people to know?

It doesn’t surprise me that you don’t hear much about Palawa/Pakana mobs because that silence has been a deliberate government strategic ploy from the government to deny us of our rights. But what interesting fact can I tell you? I know: all Tasmanian Aboriginal people stem from the North East tribes because sadly our other mobs were subject to full genocide from the British invaders.

How will you be telling this story on stage?

Puppets, actors, music… chuck a few masks and a bit of dance in there too.

Why should people come and see A Not So Traditional Story?

Because it’s heaps of fun! It’s also educational… but don’t tell the kids that!

A Not So Traditional Story plays at Arts Centre Melbourne for 4 shows only, on September 7th and 8th.

For tickets and more information, please visit the Arts Centre Melbourne website.

Gabi Bergman

Gabi Bergman is a Melbourne-based performer and educator, and is the current Deputy Editor-in-Chief of She holds a Double Arts degree in Theatre Studies and Film/Screen Studies and a Master of Teaching (Secondary Education). Gabi has always been an avid lover of theatre, specifically musicals, and spends way too much money than she’d like to admit on tickets. Her most prized possession is her crate of theatre programs.

Gabi Bergman

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