Our April picks for schools
John Kachoyan - AustralianPlays.org Literary Manager
This month I have selected two plays that sit at either end of the spectrum – a play by WA based playwright Kate Rice, The Dead Zone, which, as its title suggests, contains Adult Themes, and a light-hearted fantasy/comedy by Melbourne based Chris Thompson, Jack and the Burrow Beans aimed at upper primary and/or lower high school.
Jack And The Burrow Beans is a charming and thoughtful revisit of the traditional fairytale. Thompson is one of Australia’s most experienced and produced playwrights for young people and his writing is characterised by a real respect for the issues and concerns that face young people as they grow and develop. He is also a dab hand with “making ‘em laugh” – and this play is no exception!
Kate Rice’s The Dead Zone won the 2006 AWGIE (Theatre for Young Audiences). In writing about the text, Rice says that she wanted to tackle two of the least ‘fashionable’ emotions: guilt and regret. This play is a reflection on death and the afterlife and has a beautiful parallel story-telling conceit where the driver involved in a fatal car crash faces judgment on earth, while her passengers (boyfriend and best friend) face judgment in the afterlife. This is a delicate and sweet text with great roles and many entry points for discussion around its themes.
Tom Healey, Literary Manager