Tom's picks for July - Schools

17 Jul 2013

The latest recommendations from our Literary Manager



Each month Tom delves into our extensive catalogue and suggests plays suitable for classroom use, for tertiary study and performance and for community theatre groups. You can also get these recommendations delivered via email, by signing up here.



by Mary Morris

by Chris Thompson

Recommended for schools

Two Weeks With the Queen by Mary Morris is, of course, adapted from the much-loved Morris Gleitzman novel of the same name. Profoundly affecting and very funny, it deals with a young boy, Colin, whose brother has cancer. This would be an ideal lower high-school play, even though its themes are quite serious. It has Gleitzman’s (and Morris’) trademark humour, lightness of touch and affection for the human race, while at the same time being unafraid to look the sadness and strangeness of life straight in the face.

Shady Characters is by one of Australia’s most prolific and best-loved writers for young audiences, Chris Thompson. Amongst many other appointments, Chris was the Artistic Director of Melbourne’s St Martin’s Youth Arts Centre, which focuses exclusively on theatre for young people. Shady Characters is a coming-of-age story, set across a hot summer at the beach. Quirky and light, it illuminates that most distressing (but so common) experience of a child’s parents separating.

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Since graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts and Music (VCAM) in 1989 Tom Healey has worked as an actor, a director and a dramaturg with companies and projects around the nation. Positions held include Curator of the Australian National Playwrights’ Conference (2006), Artistic Associate of Playbox (1999-2003), Artistic Directorate (Hothouse Theatre 2006-09), Casting Consultant and Artistic Counsel (Malthouse Theatre 2005-07) and Panellist (Arts Victoria Performance Panel). As a dramaturg he has worked with Australian playwrights both emerging and established, and he has directed premieres of many new Australian works. He has also directed and developed works in contemporary opera, cabaret and music theatre and taught at the universities of Melbourne, Ballarat and La Trobe as well as the VCAM and NIDA. Tom is currently the Literary Manager of the Australian Script Centre.

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