PLAYLAB'S NSW SYLLABUS SUGGESTIONS 2022

TOPIC 2: CONTEMPORARY AUSTRALIAN THEATRE PRACTICE

The following plays have been selected by Playlab Theatre 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.


The Holidays

by David Megarrity

THEMES: Family, Memory, Intergenerational Relationships
LENGTH: 80 minutes
CAST SIZE: 3

CHARACTER AGES: 10–40s+
SUITABLE FOR:
Middle Years

David Megarrity's The Holidays is a touching portrait of memory and connection.
SYNOPSIS
The Holidays are on holiday: 12-year-old Oliver has been pulled out of school ... Read more

Black Cockatoo

by Geoffrey Atherden

THEMES: Johnny Mullagh and Australian XI, Racism, Colonial Power
LENGTH: 90 Minutes
CAST SIZE6
SUITABLE FOR: Middle & Senior Years


Inspired by the true story of legendary First Nations cricketer Jonny Mullagh and Australia's first ever international sporting team, this is not just about cricket. This is a story of ... Read more

Undertow

by Hayden Jones and Sam Foster

THEMES: Resilience, Mental Health , Relationships and Identity
LENGTH:
50 minutes
CAST SIZE:
17 Characters
CHARACTER AGES:
16-30+
SUITABLE FOR: Middle & Senior Years

Shock Therapy's Undertow is an honest and powerful look at the hidden forces, beneath the surface that move us and determine the choices we make and the actions ... Read more

From Darkness

by Steven Oliver

THEMES: Spirituality, Family, Grieving
LENGTH: 70 minutes
CAST SIZE: 5

CHARACTER AGES: 16–50+
SUITABLE FOR:
Senior Years & Adults

Steven Oliver's From Darkness is a gripping, darkly funny drama about a spiritual force and a family's need to connect with it.
SYNOPSIS
It’... Read more

Bastard Territory

by Stephen Carleton

THEMES: Family, Identity
CHARACTER AGES: Adult
LENGTH: 150 Minutes
CAST SIZE: 5 – 6 Cast Members
SUITABLE FOR: 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

Blue Bones

by Merlynn Tong

LANGUAGE: English, Mandarin, Malay and Hokkien
THEMES:
Domestic Violence, Relationships, Self Empowerment
CHARACTER AGES: Young Adult
LENGTH: 90 Minutes
CAST SIZE: 1 – 2 Cast Members
SUITABLE FOR: 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

Bustown

by Lachlan Philpott

THEMES: Consumerism, Contemporary Society, Exclusion
LENGTH: 90 Minutes
CHARACTER AGES: 13–25
CAST SIZE: Large cast without doubling
SUITABLE FOR: 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

Chasing the Lollyman

by Mark Sheppard

THEMES: Indigenous Themes, Identity, Storytelling
LENGTH: 90 Minutes
CHARACTER AGES: 30s–40s
CAST SIZE: 1
SUITABLE FOR: Senior Years & Adults

<... Read more

Medea

by Kate Mulvany and Anne-Louise Sarks after Euripides

THEMES: Childhood, Innocence, Motherhood
CHARACTER AGES: 10 – 13 & 30+
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
SUITABLE FOR: Adult
CAST SIZE: 3 – 4 Cast Members

SYNOPSIS: 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 ... 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

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

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


The Longest Minute by Robert Kronk and <... Read more

Viral

by Hayden Jones and Sam Foster

THEMES: Fame, Communication, Behaviour
LENGTH: 90 Minutes
CHARACTER AGES: 18+
NO. OF CHARACTERS: 25
SUITABLE FOR: Senior Years

Shock Therapy Productions' was inspired by a number of true events and broader societal changes facing Gold Coasters and the wider community. ... Read more

Cinderella

by Matthew Whittet

THEMES: Love, Identity, Comedy
LENGTH: 90 Minutes
CHARACTER AGES: 30s
CAST SIZE: 2
SUITABLE FOR: Senior Years & Adults


Matthew Whittet's Cinderella is a heartfelt fairy tale for adults about ... Read more

Chinese Take Away

by Anna Yen

LANGUAGE: English and Cantonese
THEMES:
History, Family, Poverty, Chinese Culture, Traditionalism
LENGTH: 45 Minutes
CHARACTER AGES: 30
CAST SIZE: 1
SUITABLE FOR: Senior Years


Anna Yen's Chinese Take Away is s an adaptation of an ... 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


Angela Betzien's The Dark Room is a timely reflection on the ... 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

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
SUITABLE FOR: 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: 20s – 40s
LENGTH: 90 Minutes
CAST SIZE: 2
TARGET AUDIENCE: Adult


Sue Smith's Kryptonite is a thrilling, thought-provoking dialogue between two people ... 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
SUITABLE FOR: 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

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

DISCLAIMER: This new edition is a celebration of the 25th Anniversary of this iconic work. The script remains unchanged in this 25... Read more


Horizon

by Maxine Mellor

THEMES: Power and Abuse of Power, Australian Identity, Ambition and Privilege
LENGTH: 90 Minutes
CHARACTER AGES: 30s
CAST SIZE: 2
SUITABLE FOR: Senior Years & Adults

Maxine Mellor's Horizon is a high-octane adrenaline rush of sweat, grit ... Read more