Shari Sebbens Photo: James Green

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Black is the New White is the provocative new romantic comedy from indigenous playwright and star of ABC’s Black Comedy, Nakkiah Lui. 

Directed by STC’s former Richard Wherrett Fellow Paige Rattray, the play follows Roy Gibson, an Aboriginal man, and his high-achieving family whose Christmas takes a very different turn when one of his daughters brings home a white, unemployed, experimental classical music composer with a conservative politician for a father.

“The play offers an understanding of indigenous Australians’ lives because we’re so often fed one idea or image. Because of the media, we’re not often humanized. We’re demonized,” says Shari Sebbens, who plays Roy’s daughter, Charlotte.

“The play touches on identity politics, race relations – things that are often a bit confronting and even scary for someone in Australia.”

But Black is the New White, which features Kylie Bracknell, Tony Briggs, Luke Carroll and Geoff Morrell alongside Sebbens, aims to tackle these thought-provoking topics with heart and humour.

“The play is insightful in a really welcoming way. I hope the audience takes away all those great things you do from rom-coms, which is family and love and laughter,” says Sebbens.

“I think if you can laugh with someone, you can talk to them about everything… To laugh with someone is to empathise with them and empathy is the greatest tool we have when it comes to this world.”

Until 17 June, Various performance times. The Wharf, 4 Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay. $75-$99. Tickets & Info: www.sydneytheatre.com.au

By Emily Shen.