Tom's picks for July - Schools

15 Jul 2014

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 Richard Baines

by Ned Manning

Recommended for schools

This month I have picked two scripts that tackle drama as ‘education’ in very different ways. The first (by Richard Baines) tackles traditional stories from non-Anglo cultures, and the second goes to the heart of one of the central dramas of the Western tradition – Hamlet.
Richard Baines’ The Girl Who Ran With Gazelles is a series of short plays that dramatize stories from Morocco, Persia, Palestine, Ancient Egypt the Middle East. The best known story in the collection is Aladdin, but all the plays contain a similar roll-call of characters; magicians, genies, Grand Viziers and all manner of colourful characters and situations.
Ned Manning, author of the Hamlet Intensive, is one of Australia’s most loved and respected writers for young audiences. A passionate educator (and brilliant actor), Manning has crafted a suite of plays exploring Shakespeare’s genius – originally commissioned by Bell Shakespeare. In this piece, he explores the big questions of Hamlet. This is a perfect script for any class – in either drama or literature - who are tackling this giant of a play. Who is Hamlet? What drives him? What are the essential things that make him tick? These - and other - questions are addressed in a playful and intelligent way in this fantastic text.

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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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