The Truth Is

Despite the age of Euripedes’ play, and the fact that the events it refers to take place almost a thousand years before his own work, it’s striking how little has changed. For all our technological progress, as a species, the same abuses continue to the modern day. Slavery- whether in the form of debt bondage or sexual servitude- persists, and, of course, violence towards women has never ended. In the contemporary era, the figure of Talthybius persists in new and different forms, and the sad truth is, as Hannah Arendt suggested, that evil is banal. Talthybius isn’t some monster; he’s all too human.


Call of Cassandra

This piece is my small contribution to ‘The Women of Troy’ project supporting the production put on by Eagles Nest Theatre Company. The initiative is to combat violence against women through creativity and collaboration.

We speak of violence against women, yet when we turn to our sisters we are largely oblivious that 1 in 5 of them have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15. More so, 1 in 3 have experienced physical violence and the chances were that this was in their home; a place of safety and refuge.

“Violence against women was endemic to warlike society 2500 years ago. The threat of war is no longer prevalent for most first world citizens, but the level to which women across the globe are subjected to violence in their private and personal spaces is nothing short of an epidemic” (Eagles Nest Theatre Co.).

Have we not evolved beyond this?
It shakes the skeletons of my mother’s mothers to think that their trauma has brought no change.
It leaches into the spirits of our boys brought into this world through wombs whose memories tell dark stories. It tarnishes our future when these boys perpetually continue the cycle of all they’ve glimpsed through dungeons behind dull eyes.
It leaves rusty red stains when women hold the hands of the perpetrators, of any gender, and stand idle with clenched sledgehammer jaws.

Maybe change is coming…
Maybe the village can help.
Let’s tell our stories and hold hands while the elders sing songs of healing.
Maybe the songs will carry into the valleys and over the hills and far away.
Maybe the songs will spread far and wide;
And maybe they will go down in history and be sung in another 250 years time when things are better. Maybe things will be better.

Casualties

A spoken word piece about the daily fear that women face walking home at night. Dedicated to all the women who have lost their lives at the hands of a man.

MEDEA by Euripides

AVAILABLE NOW!

Performance

The tale of Medea is dark and potent like a witches brew. It is so epically tragic that without seeing the text brought to life by performers, it is difficult to imagine it as a plausible reality. Our production uses an elegant minimalistic design as a meeting point between the world of the Greeks and our own.  This ensures that nothing distracts from the story of a woman’s rage when facing a world of misogyny and a battle that is fought at the cost of our innocence.

Workshop

The performance we offer is obviously a feminist reading of both the character of Medea and the play. In the workshop key scenes are used to explore a range of other readings including ones that depict Medea or the folly of human emotion as the cause of the tragedy. Additionally, we investigate how the role of the chorus might be variously interpreted. 

Of all creatures that have life and will, we women are the most wretched

Prices

Short performance only $13 (minimum total fee $1300)
Short performance + workshop $16
(minimum total fee $1600)

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MACBETH by William Shakespeare

Performance

When an evil person gets what’s coming to them there is no tragedy. In production focuses on the humanity and normality of having desires and ambitions and naively taking a wrong step only to find ourselves embroiled in consequences beyond our worst imagining. We focus on the journey of a loving couple, who want the other to achieve their desires, but ultimately destroy everything they care about, themselves, and each other. 

Workshop

Students are guided to critique the performance, ask questions and delve deeper into interperative practice by looking at the couple’s relationship and other monologues as time permits. For example, the scene between Macbeth and “His Wife” before Duncan is murdered is used to explore readings involving gender, manipulation and power. The “unsex me here” monologue continues the discourse about gender and frailty as well as introducing the role of the supernatural. And last but not least, using the “two truths are told” monologue we ask students to look at ambition and desires from a practical, contemporary, point of view.  

“Let not light see my black and deep desires”

Prices

Short performance only $9 (minimum total fee $900)
Short performance + workshop $11 (minimum total fee $1100)

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ROMEO AND JULIET by William Shakespeare

Performance

“I saw Shakespeare, it wasn’t hard and dont tell anyone but I may have even liked it.” This is the sort of thing we want to hear when students see this show. The dramatic style of this performance mirrors the narrative, creating an exciting ride for our young audiences. Initially they are drawn into reckless abandon, in a world of period costumes, playful sword fights and comedic characters, as Romeo and Juliet fall in love only to have the joy and frivolity fade as the tragedy sets in and we all fall together.

Workshop

Students are guided to ask questions and talk about the performance; what they understood, what they liked or didn’t. We often hear the comment that Romeo and Juliet is a play about two dumb teenagers and lust. We explore this idea so students see how what seems to be an off-hand comment could form the basis of a valid reading. Then we challenge this idea by looking at different portrayals of the main characters that might make the love-at-first-sight narrative more appealing. Where time and the level of the group permits we also look at how creative choices can be used to explore essay prompts such as “Who is to blame?” and “Is love or hate the more powerful force?”

“O teach me how I should forget to think”

Prices

Short performance only $9 (minimum total fee $900)
Short performance + workshop $11 (minimum total fee $1100)

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THE WOMEN OF TROY by Euripides

We are very excited to announce that we will be doing Women of Troy as a full performance for the public. To help any school that would like to also see this version, we have organised to do Matinees on the Fridays.

Public performance matinee Special $20 per student (first 150 tickets only) read more…

Footscray Amphitheatre
Friday 22nd of February 2019 Matinee 1:30 – 3:30

Emerald Amphitheatre
Friday 1st of March 2019 Matinee 1:30 – 3:30

Fairfield Amphitheatre
Friday 8th of March 2019 Matinee 1:30 – 3:30

In the absence of naturalistic dialogue and scene settings, the cathartic release of trauma becomes the “story” of Greek drama. To give the women of Troy a voice they must be witnessed and heard rather than read. 

Behind men’s glorious tales of victories at war hide the screams of the losers, the vulnerable children, and the women from whose bodies the price is extracted. This play is a brutal reminder that today’s winners will be dashed on the rocks of tomorrow. 

Our world remains plagued by violence against women. This injustice lies festering in all our subconscious minds. Is the brutality and cathartic power of the ‘Women of Troy’ what it might take to bring it to the surface? Can we see our ancient origin in this play? Workshops will use key scenes to explore the themes of war and violence against women in the past and present. 

“The mortal who sacks fallen cities is a fool, his own turn must come”

Prices for school incursion workshops

Short performance only $13 (minimum total fee $1300)
Short performance + workshop $16 (minimum total fee $1600)

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EXTINCTION by Hannie Rayson

A seemingly simple story about the saving the tiger quoll from extinction contains a complex critique of ‘heroes vs villains’ narratives, highlighting their lack of suitability for the modern world. 

If we take the word extinction to mean the end of something then this play deals with a wide variety of possibly interrelated extinctions.  The extinction of the Tiger Quoll, the impending threat of Global warming and the extinction of the human race, the extinction of the idea of monogamous heterosexual life partnerships as the only right way love, the extinction of didactic moral concepts of good and evil: These are just some of the changing concepts that this play subtly mines. 

This workshop will provoke questions and give young audiences the tools to explore individual answers to the play and how to tackle the next phase of life on this planet. 

Perhaps extinction is just part of the cycle of life

Prices

$16 per student (minimum total fee $1600)

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MEASURE FOR MEASURE by William Shakespeare

AVAILABLE NOW!

What happens when a stickler for law and order is left in charge? Set in Vienna, Measure for Measure sits uncomfortably in tragicomic territory. Does it poke fun at the superficiality of love, morality, power and corruption, or use comic façade, costumes and mistaken identities to investigate the darker nature of these concepts.

Viewed through the contemporary Australian lens of legislation on gay marriage one take on the play might be a satire about state involvement in people’s private sex lives.  This workshop balances thematic exploration with a look at a variety of comic forms.

If the law hath slept maybe we need to ask who was it in bed with? Is the law for the good of the people or are certain people using it for their own good?

The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept

Prices

 $16 per student (minimum total fee $1600)

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BLACK DIGGERS by Tom Wright

(Studied in comparison to The Longest Memory by Fred Daguiar)

 

Over 1000 indigenous Australians served in WWI and yet their contribution remains almost unrecognised. This play is like pieces of an exploded bomb resurfacing from the mud; fragments and missing voices in an epic tale of triumph and disaster. It speaks of the struggle indigenous men faced trying to enlist in the war, of rare moments of racial equality on the battlefield, and of our post-war disregard for our Black Diggers. 

The First World War and the formation of our concept of our national identity are closely interwoven. Informed by indigenous actors and cultural specialists we will explore how the play is riddled with symbols that we might otherwise miss; symbols that point to an ongoing war fought by indigenous Australians for recognition.

The Longest Memory is a brutal portrayal of American slavery. As an historical context in which oppression has been voiced and acknowledged it offers parallels that makes it easier to see and accept what has been and still is happening in our own backyard.

The sounds of Australia. Gunfire!

Prices

$17 per student (minimum total fee $1700)

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