Playlab's Vic Syllabus Suggestions 2019-20

Unit 2: Australian Identity

The following list of plays has been curated by Playlab staff in order to provide an extended list of plays suitable for study in Unit 2: Australian Identity. The following plays are all strong examples of how Australia’s identity has been interpreted and presented on stage. This list contains plays from Australian playwright’s of all backgrounds and each views Australian culture, politics and society through a unique lens.


Black Diggers

by Tom Wright

THEMES: Belonging, War, Identity, Race, Indigenous Themes
CHARACTER AGES: 17+
LENGTH: 2 Hours
CAST SIZE: 9+ Cast Members
TARGET AUDIENCE: Senior Years
TARGET AUDIENCE: Adult

One hundred years ago, in 1914, a bullet from an assassin’s gun in Sarajevo sparked a war that ignited the globe. Patriotic young men all over the world lined up ... Read more

Still Point Turning: The Catherine McGregor Story

by Priscilla Jackman

THEMES: LGBTQIA, Identity and Love
LENGTH: 2 Hours
TARGET AUDIENCE: Adult

From the age of eight, Catherine McGregor knew she was a woman. But first she would have to live as a man. She played many parts: son, brother, husband, athlete, ... 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

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

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

April’s Fool

by David Burton

THEMES: Drug Culture, Drug Overdose, Death
LENGTH: 1 Hour
CAST SIZE: 9+
TARGET AUDIENCE: Senior Years
CHARACTER AGES: 15-50

In April 2009, two weeks short of his nineteenth birthday, Toowoomba teenager ... Read more

Australian Drama

by David Megarrity

THEMES: Australian Theatre, Drama as a Subject
LENGTH: 1 Hour
CAST SIZE: Large Cast Without Doubling
CHARACTER AGES: 18-35
TARGET AUDIENCE: Senior Years

The drama class is about to start, and that’s not the only thing that’s beginning. These young people love Drama. So does their teacher, but not quite as ... Read more

Behind the Cane

by Michael and Margery Forde

THEMES: Blackbirding, White Australia Policy, Australian South-Sea Islander History and Culture
CHARACTER AGES: 10+
LENGTH: 2 Hours
CAST SIZE: 9+ Cast Members
TARGET AUDIENCE: Senior Years

In the late 1800s, Australian ships arrived in the South ... Read more

Beyond The Neck

by Tom Holloway

THEMES: Port Arthur Massacre, Australian History, Grief
CHARACTER AGES:7 – 75
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
CAST SIZE: 3 – 4 Cast Members
TARGET AUDIENCE: Senior Years

The old man falls into his wife’s arms. He cries. The young mother and wife sees the pile of washing she has dropped on the floor. She cannot stand ... Read more

Bukal

by Andrea James with Henrietta Marrie

THEMES: Contemporary Indigenous Theatre
LENGTH: 1 Hour
CAST SIZE: 3 – 4 Cast Members
TARGET AUDIENCE: Senior Years

From the rainforest to the world arena, Bukal is a story of an amazing woman. From the heart of Cairns Yidinji people comes the inspiring story of a courageous woman ... Read more

The Campaign

by Campion Decent

THEMES: LGBTQIA Rights, Australian Politics
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
CHARACTER AGES: Adult
CAST SIZE: 5-6
TARGET AUDIENCE: Senior Years

In 1988 more than one hundred arrests were made at Salamanca Market when the Tasmanian Gay Law Reform Group defied a ban on a stall that featured petitions to decriminalise sexual ... 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

Composing Venus

by Elaine Acworth

NEW VINTAGE NEW RELEASE
THEMES: History, Family
LENGTH: 2 Hours
CAST SIZE: 8 Cast Members / 13-14 Cast Members without doubling
TARGET AUDIENCE: Senior Years

Spanning three decades, in flights of fantasy, poetic phrasing and sombre soliloquy, Composing Venus tells the story of three generations of women living in outback North Queensland. 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

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

Embers

by Campion Decent

THEMES: Bushfire; Victoria and Gippsland 2003 bushfires
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
CAST SIZE: 7-8
TARGET AUDIENCE: Middle Years and Senior Years
CHARACTER AGES: 20 – 60

In January 2003, a dry storm ignited over 80 fires in Victoria’s Northeast and Gippsland. Based on interviews with residents of the region, Campion Decent has fashioned an extraordinary account of ... Read more

Fly-In Fly-Out

by Robert Kronk with Howard Cassidy

THEMES: Growing up, Family, Relationships, Regional Australia, Community, Social Change
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
TARGET AUDIENCE: Senior Years
CHARACTER AGES: 12 – Adult

Jenny lives in a small Queensland mining town; she’s almost finished Grade ten and is struggling to balance school, her part-time jobs, her wayward sister, her relationships and everyone’... Read more

Gallipoli Bill

by Arthur Adams

New Vintage
THEMES: War, Class, Cultural Difference
LENGTH: 2 Hours
CHARACTER AGES: Adult
CAST SIZE: 9+
TARGET AUDIENCE: Senior Years

Worlds collide when the proprietors of a stately English home generously invite two wounded soldiers to recuperate within their walls. But these aren’t just any soldiers — these are ANZACs. ... Read more

Gaybies

by Dean Bryant

THEMES: Family, Equality, Love
CHARACTER AGES: Mixed
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
CAST SIZE: Large Cast Without Doubling
TARGET AUDIENCE: Adult

Hotly political and deeply personal, Gaybies shares the intimate real-life stories of children from same-sex parents, surrogate mums, donor dads, co-parents and guardians. A funny and moving piece of real-life ... Read more

In a Heart Beat

by Jo Turner

THEMES: Loss, Growing Up, Small towns
CHARACTER AGES: 15 – 30, 30+
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
CAST SIZE: 9 + Cast Members
TARGET AUDIENCE: Middle Years & Senior Years

In a Heart Beat follows the story of Jamie, a frustrated teenager with big ideas to leave his school and family all behind at the very first chance ... 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 Matilda Women

by Sue Rider

THEMES: Women, Australia, migration, Colonisation, Settlement
CHARACTER AGES: 16+
LENGTH: 1 Hour
TARGET AUDIENCE: Senior Years
CAST SIZE: Large Cast Without Doubling

Relive the vibrant stories of nine extraordinary women from Australia’s past- Gladys Moncrieff, Australia’s ‘Queen of Song’; Lillian Cooper, Queensland’s first female doctor; Emma Miller, ‘Mother of ... Read more

Melek Mo Hani

by Steve Mayer-Miller

THEMES: Cultural Identity, South Sea Islander Themes, Immigration, Deportation
CHARACTER AGES: Adult
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
CAST SIZE: 1 – 2 Cast Members
TARGET AUDIENCE: Middle Years
TARGET AUDIENCE: Senior Years
TARGET AUDIENCE: Adult

Moses Susuburi has three homes — Malaita Island, Vanuatu and Beaconsfield Road, Mackay — it's a long story, so when he is caught busking without a licenece, it's hard for him to ... Read more

Men Without Wives

by Henrietta Drake-Brockman

THEMES: Australia, Femininity, Masculinity, Personal Identity
CHARACTER AGES: 18+
LENGTH: 2 Hours
TARGET AUDIENCE: Adult
CAST SIZE: 9+ Cast Members

Northern Australia, the dirt, the heat, the loneliness, everything about it says that it's man's country. The men 'round these parts are rougher, tougher, and louder than any other men ... Read more

On Our Selection

by Steele Rudd

THEMES: Australia, Triumph Over Adversity, Revenge, Family, Home
CHARACTER AGES: 18+
LENGTH: 2.5 Hours
TARGET AUDIENCE: Senior Years
CAST SIZE: 9+ Cast Members

Dad Rudd is having a tough time on the selection. Old man Carey is demanding money that he just doesn't have, but Kate is heading off to Brisbane to bring ... Read more

Oodgeroo

by Sam Watson

THEMES: Aboriginality, Land Ownership, Political Activism, Family
CHARACTER AGES: 20 – 50
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
TARGET AUDIENCE: Senior Years
CAST SIZE: 5 – 6 Cast Members

Oodgeroo’s way was negotiation. But her son, Denis Walker, was more radical. He co-founded the Australian Black Panthers, a group based on the violent American civil rights organization of ... Read more

The Pineapple War

by Lachlan Philpott

THEMES: Oppression, Revolution, Influence
CHARACTER AGES: 16 – 23
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
CAST SIZE: Large Cast Without Doubling
TARGET AUDIENCE: Senior Years

It’s 2022 and Queensland is now part of China to ... Read more

Prize Fighter

by Future D. Fidel

THEMES: War, Loss, Refugees, Trauma
CHARACTER AGES: 10 – 60
LENGTH: 1 Hour
TARGET AUDIENCE: Adult
CAST SIZE: 5 – 6 Cast Members

A talented young boxer, Isa, is preparing for the biggest fight of his career. On the line is the national title and the promise of fame and riches beyond his ... Read more

Proppa Solid

by Steven Oliver

THEMES: Aboriginal Themes, Indentity, Family
CHARACTER AGES: Adult
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
TARGET AUDIENCE: Adult
CAST SIZE: 3 – 4 Cast Members

The year is 2067 and Paul Toppy, your everyday Aboriginal President, runs The Republic of Australia. Problem is, Paul doesn’t know much about being Aboriginal. All that changes one day ... Read more

Rice

by Michele Lee

THEMES: Globalisation, Power, Politics and Migration
CHARACTER AGES: Adult
LENGTH:1.5 Hours
CAST SIZE: 1 – 2 Cast Members
TARGET AUDIENCE: Adult

Everyone has problems to deal with – in the boardroom or the basement, global or local, business or personal. Two multicultural women making their way in modern Australia forge a powerful, ... 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

Snapshots From Home

by Margery Forde

THEMES: WWII, Family, Survival
CHARACTER AGES: 14 – 50
LENGTH: 1 Hour
TARGET AUDIENCE: Senior Years
CAST SIZE: 3 – 4 Cast Members

“We just carried on... even with our loved ones away for so long. Everyone shared things... food, knitting and dressmaking patterns. There was this great feeling of pulling together... of ... Read more

The Sublime

by Brendan Cowell

THEMES: Masculinity, Sport, Sex, Power
CHARACTER AGES: Young Adult
LENGTH: 1 Hour
CAST SIZE: 3 – 4 Cast Members
TARGET AUDIENCE: Adult

What happens on the footy trip doesn’t always stay on the footy trip. When things go wrong in Thailand, only three people know the whole story. There’s Liam, ... Read more

The Village

by Multiple Playwrights

THEMES: Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Immigration
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
TARGET AUDIENCE: Adult

Experience the compelling real stories of ordinary people who have found themselves in extraordinary situations. Created from verbatim accounts from refugees and people seeking asylum. The Village showcases the cultural ... Read more

Sugarland

by Rachael Coopes and Wayne Blair

THEMES: Indigenous Themes, Regional Australia, Displacement, Growing up
CHARACTER AGES: 16 – 18, Adult
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
TARGET AUDIENCE: Senior Years

Sugarland provides a glimpse into a teenage Australia that feels like a foreign country. This haunting new play will make you pause, make you smile, make you wonder how much ... Read more

Today We’re Alive

by Linden Wilkinson

THEMES: Reconciliation, Remembrance, Indigenous Themes
CHARACTER AGES: 18+
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
CAST SIZE: 3 – 4 Cast Members
TARGET AUDIENCE: Senior Years
TARGET AUDIENCE: Adult

Stories from the Memorial to the Myall Creek Massacre The Myall Creek Massacre of 1838 was a significant event in Australia's history. For the first time, the white perpetrators of the ... Read more