Dalara, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a Sydney local, born and raised in Redfern. I am a Wiradjuri and Gumbaynggirr woman from Western and Mid-north coast of NSW. I recently graduated from National Institute of Dramatic Arts back in November.
What was it that made you want to pursue acting as your career?
I was always interested in acting from a young age, but was too scared to admit it. I grew up in a more sporting environment, went to a sports school and played multiple sports but it wasn’t until 2010 that I decided to pursue acting. It was something I fell in love with and I haven’t looked back since.
What was it about Nakkiah Lui’s play that drew you to the project?
This role came to me out of the blue. Due to injury of the original actress, I was asked to step in and learn the play as the understudy which was a challenge within itself, but one I was willing to take. I had seen the play before and thought it was simply amazing—like nothing I ever saw performed on a stage—and absolutely hilarious. So when I was offered the role as understudy, I was petrified but couldn’t say no to such a wonderful piece of work.
How would you describe your character in Blackie Blackie Brown, Dr. Jacqueline Black?
Jacqueline Black is a woman on a mission but through that journey, she discovers a lot about herself, the power of her voice and standing up for something you believe in without fear. She’s a woman torn between what’s right and wrong, but a woman coming into and discovering her own power.
What is your favourite line or moment in the script?
There are so many great lines and moments throughout the play, it's hard to pick one. I think my favourite moment comes at the end of the play, seeing how her quest reached out and affects the world, and the line I say reminding Aboriginal people that they are special and this is their time now. Gets me every time.
In the industry today, who or what inspires you?
This movement that is happening in the industry now inspires me. Seeing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performers, stories being told on multiple platforms, more People of Colour taking centre stage, and the Aboriginal women who paved the way, always inspire me. Their strength, fearlessness and drive inspires me to continue to perform and create work. Because of her, I can.
PHOTOGRAPHY / Phoebe Powell