Tom's picks for June - Schools

12 Jun 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 Angela Betzien

by Sean Riley

Recommended for schools

This is not the first time I have recommended Angela Betzien and that is for a very good reason, which is that she is probably the writer most switched on to the schools age group in Australia. She has a strong social conscience and politic, but she is also very on to what kids are into, how they speak and what their concerns, both conscious and unconscious, are. As well as this, she has a keen theatrical eye and a great ear for dialogue. Girl Who Cried Wolf was produced by Windmill in Adelaide and concerns a young ‘dag’ who sees a way to help the cool chick and thereby win herself a passport to cooldom. What follows is, of course, not nearly so smooth as they had hoped…
Beautiful Words by Sean Riley is a large-scale piece, probably too long for a production, but full of great scenes and provocations. Set in three different frames (WW2 Auschwitz/Afganistan and contemporary Australia) it explores the plight of refugees (through the eyes of children). This might be more of a study-based experience for school kids, but it does a great job of creating context for the current debate in Australia and offers a rich historical narrative. The writing is passionate and surprising and would be great fun to work on.

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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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