South Australian premiere
Presented by Vitalstatistix and THE RABBLE in association with State Theatre Company South Australia

YES is an investigation into the dynamics of power, consent, knowledge, truth and the complexities of one seemingly simple word.

This new performance work by acclaimed feminist theatre makers THE RABBLE is set within an ever-changing physical space, occasionally erupting with manufactured weather events, in which an audience watches two performers answer hundreds of questions.

Shifting between rite of passage, public debate and personal memoir, YES is an unpredictable onslaught that blurs the line between instruction, permission, philosophy, and confession.

In this stunning new work, co-commissioned by Vitalstatistix, THE RABBLE remind us of the relentless pursuit of answers, understanding and justice, even in a world where solid ground is harder to find than ever.

Artist Statement

YES asks an audience to investigate their relationship to truth in a post-traumatic world. People all over the world are trying to tell the story of the last two years. What happened? What are the facts? We are each having to contend with how to make meaning from collective trauma. The bushfires, COVID-19, The Black Lives Matters protests, transphobia, and never-ending conspiracy theories. The chasm between world views is literally and metaphorically widening.

During COVID, as we are separated from physical truths and experiences, we are ever more reliant on other sources for understanding: journalists, politicians, scientists, medical professionals, fire fighters, the police. But we know these institutions are easily corruptible; by money, power, elections or notions of “trying to protect the public” or “doing the right thing”. So what happens if we abandon the structures of authority? Is it possible to understand the world where multiple conflicting ideas are all true at once? Where meaning is shaped not by single experts and authorities, but by communities of ideas?

This piece seeks to investigate systems of knowledge, their biases and their strengths in order to understand how we might tell stories in a post-traumatic world where the most basic of facts are contested. We want to disempower the makers of meaning (the leaders of patriarchal structures – medicine, science, politics, media) that filter and decide how trauma is portrayed. Instead, we want to create a more communal process of searching.

THE RABBLE aren’t experts. We are not seeking answers to these massive problems. Just methods to disrupt structures and ways to ask questions.


Image: Pier Carthew


YES is a co-commission of Vitalstatistix, RISING and Arts House. YES is produced by Performing Lines and supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, the South Australian Government and The Besen Family Foundation.

Performance Dates

7.30pm, JUNE 21-26 2022
Waterside, 11 Nile St, Port Adelaide,
Kaurna Yerta

Creative Team

Co-creators and co-directors: Emma Valente and Kate Davis
Set and costume design: Kate Davis
Lighting and sound design / composition: Emma Valente
Performers: Dana Miltins and Mary Helen Sassman
Understudy: Eva Seymour
Stage manager: Cassandra Fumi
Production manager (development and pre-production): Rebecca Etchell
Associate designer: Emma Lockhart-Wilson
Produced by: Performing Lines