Playlab's Vic Syllabus Suggestions 2022

Unit 2: Australian Identity

The following list of plays has been curated by Playlab Theatre 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.


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

To Kill a Cassowary

by Laurie Ross Trott

THEMES: Inheritance, Legacy, Ageism, Conservation and Family
LENGTH: 85 Minutes
CHARACTER AGES: 30s–50+
CAST SIZE: 3
SUITABLE FOR: Senior Years & Adults

Laurie Ross Trott's To Kill a Cassowary is a comedy about ... Read more

Bogga

by Rob Pensalfini

THEMES: Corruption, Death, Friendship
LENGTH: 120 Minutes
CHARACTER AGES: 30s–50+
CAST SIZE: 5
SUITABLE FOR: Senior Years & Adults

Rob Pensalfini's Bogga is a fascinating work based on oral histories of the detainers and detainees of Brisbane ... Read more

Faces in the Street

by Errol O’Neill

THEMES: Union Strikes, Working Class Values, Government Repression
CAST SIZE: 8+
LENGTH: 135 Minutes
CHARACTER AGES: 18–50s
SUITABLE FOR: Adults


Errol O'Neill's Faces in the Street is based on the events ... 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

Magpie

by Elise Greig

LANGUAGE: English and Romani
THEMES:
Cultural heritage, Intergenerational trauma, Immigration
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
CAST SIZE: 4
SUITABLE FOR:
Senior Years & Adults

Elise Greig's Magpie is a coming-of-age story that charts its way through generations of sorrow and blame, to ultimately reconnect with the past and embrace cultural upbringing and ... 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

Black Diggers

by Tom Wright

THEMES: Belonging, War, Identity, Race, Indigenous Themes
CHARACTER AGES: 17+
LENGTH: 120 Minutes
CAST SIZE: 9+ Cast Members
SUITABLE FOR: Senior Years & Adults


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

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

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

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 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

The Pineapple War

by Lachlan Philpott

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


It’s 2022 and Queensland is now part of China to resolve a civil war. The rest of Australia has become Nation One, with a conservative government and a return to ... 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
SUITABLE FOR: 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

Still Point Turning: The Catherine McGregor Story

by Priscilla Jackman

THEMES: LGBTQIA, Identity and Love
LENGTH: 120 Minutes
CHARACTER AGES: 18+
CAST SIZE: 6 (doubling is required)
SUITABLE FOR ADULTS: Adult


Priscilla Jackman's Still Point Turning: The Catherine McGregor Story is an ... Read more

April’s Fool

by David Burton

THEMES: Drug Culture, Drug Overdose, Death
LENGTH: 60 Minutes
CAST SIZE: 9+
SUITABLE FOR: Senior Years
CHARACTER AGES: 15-50


In April 2009, two weeks short of his nineteenth birthday, Toowoomba teenager ... 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: 120 Minutes
CAST SIZE: 9+ Cast Members
SUITABLE FOR: 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: 90 Minutes
CAST SIZE: 3 – 4 Cast Members
SUITABLE FOR: 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: 60 Minutes
CAST SIZE: 3 – 4 Cast Members
SUITABLE FOR: 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

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

Embers

by Campion Decent

THEMES: Bushfire; Victoria and Gippsland 2003 bushfires
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
CAST SIZE: 7-8
SUITABLE FOR: 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

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

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: 90 Minutes
CAST SIZE: Large Cast Without Doubling
SUITABLE FOR: 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
LENGTH: 90 Minutes
CHARACTER AGES: 15–30+
CAST SIZE: 10 or Large cast without doubling
SUITABLE FOR: Middle & Senior Years


Jo Turner's In a Heart Beat  is a humorous and heartfelt ... 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
SUITABLE FOR: 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
LENGTH: 150 Minutes
CHARACTER AGES: 18+
CAST SIZE: 9
SUITABLE FOR: Senior Students


In this four act play, On Our Selection by Steele Rudd follows ... 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

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

Paul: My heritage? Ruth: Your Aboriginality. Paul: I’m not a practising Aboriginal. Or is it Aborigine? Ruth: I get confused as well. A humorous story, brimming with Aboriginal vernacular ... 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


Snapshots From Home

by Margery Forde

THEMES: WWII, Family, Survival
CHARACTER AGES: 14 – 50
LENGTH: 1 Hour
SUITABLE FOR: 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
SUITABLE FOR: 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

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

The Village

by Multiple Playwrights

THEMES: Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Immigration
LENGTH: 90 Minutes
CHARACTER AGES: 18+
CAST SIZE: 7
SUITABLE FOR: Senior Years & Adults


The Village is a collaboration between La Boite Theatre Company and MDA, and features stories from <... Read more