Our June picks for schools - 2 more great plays
John Kachoyan - AustralianPlays.org Literary Manager
The two plays I have chosen this month come from writers working at opposite ends of the country. Jessica Messenger hails from Perth where her play, RAIN, was first produced. Lachlan Philpott is based in Sydney, although as a nationally and internationally produced playwright as well as Fulbright Scholar, he travels a lot! The play of his I have selected, THE CHOSEN, was commissioned and premiered at Brisbane Girls Grammar.
Jessica Messenger’s RAIN follows the weekend of a young teenage boy trying to come to terms with the suicide of his father. It was shortlisted for the Inscription development award and is a delicate and subtle piece, suited to upper high school. Messenger is one of a group of strong and emerging playwrights on the Perth scene. She is a prolific playwright and this work, though challenging for high school students would really suit a serious drama group.
Lachlan Philpott’s THE CHOSEN was created from a series of workshops with students from Brisbane Girls Grammar. The school commissioned him following a production they did of his earlier play, BUSTOWN. (As a sidebar, in these difficult times, bless you BGG, and may many schools follow your example.) The process of creating this work lends it an authenticity and pulse that makes the play crackle and spark. Philpott’s beautiful imagination and amazing adeptness with dialogue makes this a dizzying text, with great roles for all and a thumping soundtrack to boot!
Tom Healey, Literary Manager