Other Rituals

An outdoor performance gathering in four parts

We tried carrying on.

We tried keeping it together.

We tried going back to the familiar.

But everything has been turned upside down.

So we made these rituals.

They are rituals for beginning and ending, for unleashing chaos, and for unlearning assumption.

They are rituals for being together, across difference, and distance, in solidarity.

Join us in these extraordinary times for a four part outdoor COVID-safe performance gathering. Created and performed by emerging artists in the third-year Collaborative Performance Making Course, and co-facilitated by performance-maker and UNSW lecturer Theron Schmidt and artist Rajni Shah.

Please note: Part of this work asks you to listen to audio on your phone. Please bring headphones to the performance so you can listen. 


Seats are limited. Booking essential.

We ask that all audience members watch the video below before coming to UNSW.

Please note: 

  • If you are unwell, please stay home.

  • We will maintain physical distancing. Audience will be seated 2 meters apart and all interactions are contact-free. To maintain physical distancing please sit in designated positions. 

  • We encourage you to wear a face mask, particularly upon arrival and departure. 

  • Each attendee will be required to check in upon arrival. This is to assist with contract tracing should the need arise.

For more information on Covid-Safety at UNSW, visit our Covid-19 information site


It is an understatement to say that nothing has gone to plan for our species this year. Humans across the world have experienced suffering, loss, and change at a deep level. It’s hard to know how to find our ground at times like these – how to act with compassion, responsibility, and patience as we navigate the turmoil that comes with transformation. 

At the same time, we are surrounded by examples of living beings who are constantly adapting to change with poise and wonder: trees, mosses, insects, birds, and other creatures show us how to move gracefully when material conditions change unexpectedly. Rocks and trees remind us to think about longer, slower trajectories that span across generations of human and non-human lifetimes. These knowledges, long held and treasured within Indigenous wisdoms, are available to us all if we pause long enough to learn from them. 

The performances you are about to witness were made under unusual conditions. The students in this Collaborative Performance Making class had to work without touch, wearing masks when inside, and without the easy glamour of theatrical lighting and fancy sound systems to boost their creations. They had to imagine an audience who would be seated at a distance from the performances, and from each other. And they had to work outdoors, under the skies, in dialogue with the weather. In addition, due to a bereavement, they had to work with two different course convenors across the ten weeks of their time together. 

And yet, in spite of the challenges, I think it is fair to say that the process of making these performances has been a joyous one. A celebration of what is possible, and what reveals itself when we are forced to work within tight constraints. So we gather on the outside, rather than the inside, of the Esme Timbery Creative Practice Lab. We notice the weather, which is unpredictable and fierce. We invite the trees, the clouds, the winds, the passing birds to be a part of our experience tonight. And we see and hear each other, across distance and difference, sharing our complex humanity for a moment.  

This moment we are in, it’s all we have.  

Welcome to Other Rituals.  

- Rajni Shah 

Five individual performers, each with their own unique identities, working together in solidarity within a complicated and divided world. Our performance is a microcosmic reflection of multicultural Australia. We pay our respects to the traditional owners of this land and cultures whose identities have been rendered invalid time after time.  

Keshya Sareeka Gunawardena
Paul Leandre Escorrido
Paris Freed
Vanessa Ou
Remi Ferguson


Ngarra Burra Ferra - a gospel song that has been sung across many continents, and is well known with its lyrics translated in Yorta Yorta. This song carries both good and bad memories with it, especially for Aboriginal Australians. 

Ayela - איילה - which translates to Doe is a prayer sung on Shabbat (the day of rest) by Humanist, secular, cultural Jews. The prayer speaks of love and humanity, and what is between us as humans. Perhaps love? 

Thank you

Eden Maytal - designer of the jacket worn by Paris Freed in part two. The jacket was designed to represent feminist Jews and The Women of the Wall in Israel, fighting for religious equality.

What is the point of this performance? Who came up with that name? Are there eagles in this performance? Are we getting free sandwiches? What is it about? Why are these performers so tortured? Why does this damn laughing track sound so creepy? Who’s laughing? This is uncomfortability and chaos. 

Jonathan Kupershteyn
Eliza Tucker
Lycia Gunawan
Chelsea Bahar
Meghana Rao


Creepy Circus Music - Creepy Amusement Park
Uploaded By Fantasy & World Music by the Fietchers (YouTube)
Artist: Brandon Fietcher, Derek Fietcher

Creepy Circus Music - Haunted Carnival
Uploaded By Fantasy & World Music by the Fietchers (YouTube)
Artist: Brandon Fietcher, Derek Fietcher

Creepy Circus Music - Entry of the Gladiators
Uploaded By Secession Studios (YouTube)
Composer: Julius Fucik

The Four Seasons, 'Summer' - 3, Presto
Composer: Antonio Vivaldi

Performance Audio

Listen to this track when instructed by the performers. You are able to download this track ahead of time.


How do you navigate this world? Are you bearing heavy burdens? Do you feel like you lose parts of yourself along the way? How do you keep from bleeding out and running on empty? And where do you put all your anger when women’s clothing still doesn’t have any bloody pockets. If it’s true that your anger is the part of you that loves you, then within our crucibles of rage lie the ashes of self-preservation.   

Isabelle Clements
Denise Vicencio
Kashish Mahbubani
Melanie Jha


Mr Clean - archival advertisement.

Co-convenors // Theron Schmidt and Rajni Shah
Production Manager // Mark Mitchell
Design Consultation // Paul Matthews

Produced by the Esme Timbery Creative Practice Lab

Organisational units