Tom's picks for March - Schools

27 Feb 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 Scott Hatcher

by Tommy Murphy

Recommended for schools

This month I have chosen plays for both ends of the secondary spectrum, both created specifically within school environments. The first, The Kid ‘A’ Project, is by Melbourne teacher and novelist Scott Hatcher. The play was commissioned by Candlebark School in the Macedon Ranges, which is an ‘alternative’ prep to year 10 school founded and run by novelist John Marsden. It has a massive (and flexible) cast and features a huge range of genres and styles – including puppets. It reimagines the birth of Christ in the modern world and would be both great fun to do and really interesting food for thought in terms of classroom discussion.
Precipice by Sydney writer Tommy Murphy is a play for 18 actors (only 2 women amongst these, who were originally played by boys). It was conceived for a boy’s school (Cranbrook) and would probably only suit that environment, but it is a very interesting piece. Like all of Murphy’s work, it has rich and strong characters with a lot of laughs and a strong and sure dramatic line that sustains the piece. It has a fascinating combination of thematic drives; on the naturalistic hand, looking at the culture of teenage boys; and on the surreal, a visionary boy who can see the future. This is an unusual piece but well worth a look for anyone who has a large bunch of boys ready to act!

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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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