PLAYLAB'S NSW SYLLABUS SUGGESTIONS 2019-20

TOPIC 2: CONTEMPORARY AUSTRALIAN THEATRE PRACTICE

The following plays have been selected by Playlab staff in order to provide an extended list of title suitable for study in Topic 2: Contemporary Australian Theatre Practice to assist educators and students explore contemporary practices of Australian drama and theatre. We have compiled the following selection of plays that are suitable for classroom study and exemplify some of the most exciting new writing in Australian theatre. The selection of plays in this list span across a myriad of styles, forms, techniques and conventions and explore a wide range of topics and themes that reflect Australia’s contemporary artistic, cultural, social, and political landscapes.


Medea

by Kate Mulvany and Anne-Louise Sarks

THEMES: Love, Passion and Revenge
LENGTH: 2 Hours
CAST SIZE: 3 – 4 Cast Members
TARGET AUDIENCE: Senior Years

Two young children play games to distract themselves whilst their parents have a very famous showdown. As the dispute escalates the children are drawn away from their games and enter ... Read more

The Longest Minute

by Robert Kronk and Nadine McDonald-Dowd

THEMES: Family, Identity, Sport
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
CHARACTER AGES: 18–55
CAST SIZE: 5-6
TARGET AUDIENCE: Senior Years

One football club, one family, and one unforgettable NRL grand final. Where were you the night of the 2015 Grand Final? The night when long-time underdogs the North Queensland Cowboys won ... Read more

Blue Bones

by Merlynn Tong

THEMES: Domestic Violence, Relationships, Self Empowerment
CHARACTER AGES: Young Adult
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
CAST SIZE: 1 – 2 Cast Members
TARGET AUDIENCE: Senior Years

When a woman finds scars left by her ex-boyfriend of many years etched into her bones, she begins a turbulent journey to unpack her past and discover how he got ... Read more

The 7 Stages Of Grieving

by Wesley Enoch and Deborah Mailman (25th Anniversary)

THEMES: Grieving, Death, Indigenous People, Aboriginality
CHARACTER AGES: Any age
LENGTH: 1 Hour
TARGET AUDIENCE: Middle Years
CAST SIZE: 1 – 2 Cast Members

Wesley Enoch and Deborah Mailman's The 7 Stages of Grieving is a proud milestone in Australian theatre history; a contemporary Indigenous performance text from the highly acclaimed Kooemba Jdarra. <... Read more

Oedipus Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

by Daniel Evans

THEMES: Family, Community, Tragedy, Loss
CHARACTER AGES: 18-40
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
CAST SIZE: 5 – 6 Cast Members
TARGET AUDIENCE: Adult

What if Oedipus lived next door? What if the whole street knew what he’d been up to with his own mother, because of the word daubed in fluorescent letters ... Read more

Cinderella

by Matthew Whittet

THEMES: Love, Identity, Comedy
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours

This Cinderella is not about princes and princesses. It's about a single woman in her early 40s trying to go on a date, and a single guy who has an ... Read more

Bastard Territory

by Stephen Carleton

THEMES: Family, Identity
CHARACTER AGES: Adult
LENGTH: 2.5 Hours
CAST SIZE: 5 – 6 Cast Members
TARGET AUDIENCE: Adult

Bastard Territory is a confessional human drama about a man – and a city – carving out an identity. Mixing wry humour, raw insight, a dash of Tennessee Williams and a killer 60... Read more

Spontaneous Human Combustion

by Daniel Evans

THEMES: Trauma, Defiance, Grief
CHARACTER AGES: 16 – 18
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
CAST SIZE: Large Cast Without Doubling
TARGET AUDIENCE: Senior Years

School Captain Astrid Pollard is on fire. Ever since she was assigned that oral presentation on Joan of Arc life has sort of, well, spontaneously combusted. People are looking at ... Read more

Chasing the Lollyman

by Mark Sheppard

THEMES: Indigenous Themes, Identity, Story-telling
Length: 1.5 Hours
CAST SIZE: 1-2
TARGET AUDIENCE: Senior Years

Chasing the Lollyman is a one-man show created by one of Queensland's ... Read more

The Dark Room

by Angela Betzien

THEMES: Violence, Sex, Police, Isolation
CHARACTER AGES: 14 – 40
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
CAST SIZE: 5 – 6 Cast Members
TARGET AUDIENCE: Adult

A lonely motel somewhere in the Northern Territory. Deep into the night, six lost souls play out a small, distant tragedy of lovesickness and social breakdown – only it’s not ... Read more

Bustown

by Lachlan Philpott

THEMES: Consumerism, Contemporary Society, Exclusion
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
CHARACTER AGES: 13–25
CAST SIZE: Large cast without doubling
TARGET AUDIENCE: Middle Years

Breathe in deep, can ya smell it? Smell of bus seats. Vinyl and sweat. Nothing nowhere beats that. See the yellow bus? That’s where we was born. Bustown. A ... Read more

Chinese Take Away

by Anna Yen

THEMES: History, Family, Poverty, Chinese Culture, Traditionalism
CHARACTER AGES: 30
LENGTH: 45 Minutes
CAST SIZE: 1 – 2 Cast Members
TARGET AUDIENCE: Senior Years

Three generations of women; Grandmother, Mother and Anna, make a figurative ‘journey’ from the mores of Old China to those of contemporary Australia. A tragi-comic, one-woman show richly realised through ... Read more

The Dead Devils of Cockle Creek

by Kathryn Marquet

THEMES: Environmentalism, Ideology, Compromise
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
CAST SIZE: 3 – 4 Cast Members
TARGET AUDIENCE: Adult

Working out of a small shack in the isolated wilds of south-western Tasmania, George, an environmental scientist, is trying to save the world one Tassie Devil at a time. Since ... Read more

Hanako

by Katherine Lyall-Watson and Caroline Dunphy

THEMES: Culture Clash, Art, Dominance and Female Empowerment
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
TARGET AUDIENCE: Senior Years
CAST SIZE: 7 – 8 Cast Members

Hanako plunges the audience into the hyper-realistic fantasy of ... Read more

The Harbinger

by David Morton and Matthew Ryan

THEMES: Storytelling, Loss, Memories
CHARACTER AGES: All Ages
LENGTH: 1 Hour
CAST SIZE: 9 + Cast Members
TARGET AUDIENCE: Adult

An old man hides away in a dusty old bookshop, forgotten and alone with only a handful of beautiful memories as comfort. Gone are the days of magnificent apple orchards, ... Read more

Jurassica

by Dan Giovannoni

THEMES: Displacement, Identity, Home
CHARACTER AGES: Various
LENGTH: 2 Hours
TARGET AUDIENCE: Adult
CAST SIZE: 5 – 6 Cast Members

I go, running, downstairs, outside, go past a well and past Ugo house. All way until the village it nearly stop. Poi lo sento. Under the ground. Un brontolio. Ralph ... Read more

Kryptonite

by Sue Smith

THEMES: Multiculturalism, Politics, Love, National Identity
CHARACTER AGES: 23 – 48
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
CAST SIZE: 1 – 2 Cast Members
TARGET AUDIENCE: Adult

It has been 25 years since the tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square. A generation later, have the scars healed or have they been papered over with bank notes? Through the lens ... Read more

The Long Way Home

by Daniel Keene

THEMES: Military Service, Mental Health, Trauma, Relationships
CHARACTER AGES: 18+
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
CAST SIZE: 9+ Cast Members
TARGET AUDIENCE: Adult

We shall overcome Created from first-hand accounts, The Long Way Home reflects the Australian Defence Force's recent experiences on operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and East Timor as well ... Read more