Tom's picks for March - Tertiary

3 Mar 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.

 

 

CONSTRUCTION OF THE HUMAN HEART
by Ross Mueller

FOURPLAY
by Jane Bodie

Recommended for tertiary study

 Both of these plays come from the Melbourne fringe scene around the millennium but despite the fact that they are now around ten years old, they are fresh and sexy pieces that still pack a hefty punch (and contain great opportunities for some seriously good acting). At its centre, Construction of the Human Heart is a play about grief, but it is also, as Alison Croggon said in her review of the original production, one of the most startling formal experiments and, as the two characters fall in and out of character as the lines between them blur, we are unable to tell what is fact and what is fiction. What is the play and what is not. It drifts imperceptibly between several possible versions of reality and, in so doing, interrogates the nature of the authenticity of emotional experience, both in life and in the theatre. It is a fascinating and complex piece that leaves you wondering what, if anything, is real.
 
Fourplay by Jane Bodie (whose play A Single Act was recently featured in the 2014 Red Door series) is a beautiful, funny and haunting quartet for twenty-something actors. It plays itself out in some senses as an elegy for a relationship that is slowly and quietly crumbling, and has all of Bodie’s hallmarks – it’s funny, it’s sad and it’s quietly strange. Jane has a remarkable capacity to evoke both intimacy and loss, her emotional atmospherics are riveting and her observations of our quirks, our vanities and our desires are absolutely bullseye. This would be a great piece for any uni group looking for a tour de force for four young actors.

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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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