In my previous post about The Elements of Drama I mentioned that a good strategy for looking at character/role and/or time/place/situation is to do some script extract work.
With so many plays available sometimes it is difficult to choose which ones would be best for school use. Here I’ve compiled a short list of plays that would work well for either Years 7-10 (Stage 4-5) and Years 9-12 (Stage 5-6). The main differences being that in the plays in each list deal with different themes and require a certain maturity level.
They are all Australian plays which works well for teacher’s in Australia who have to teach an Australian text at some point in their programming. However, international teachers may like to use these as a way of gaining perspectives on other countries.
When preparing to use a play in a class it is important that you:
- Read the entire play before you start working on selected scenes.
- Have a discussion or do some activites that provide a context for the play as well as discussing the themes and issues in the play.
Year 7-10 (Stage 4-5)
- Fossils by Manuel Aston
- Spitting Chips by Peta Murray
- Two Weeks with the Queen by Mary Morris
- Blabbermouth by Mary Morris
- No Worries by David Holman
- Beauty and the Beast by David Holman
- The Small Poppies by David Holman
- What’s the Matter with Mary Jane? by Wendy Harmer
Year 9-12 (Stage 5-6)
- A Property of the Clan by Nick Enright
- Cloudstreet by Nick Enright
- The Venetian Twins by Nick Enright (also great for Commedia dell’ Arte)
- Gary’s House by Debra Oswald
- The Club by David Williamson
- Don’s Party by David Williamson
- Stolen by Jane Harrison
- Ruby Moon by Matt Cameron
- 7 Stage of Grieving by Wesley Enoch
- Summer of the Seventeenth Doll by Ray Lawler
- Norm and Ahmed by Alex Buzo
The following plays may not be suitable for all school’s but short extracts could definitely be used:
- Diving for Pearls by Katherine Thompson
- Navigating by Katherine Thompson
- Wonderland by Katherine Thompson
- Wolf Lullaby by Hilary Bell
- Running Up a Dress by Suzanne Spunner
- The Black Sequin Dress by Beatrix Christian
- Speaking in Tongues by Andrew Bovell
- Summer of the Aliens by Louis Nowra
- Cosi by Louis Nowra
- Away by Michael Gow
- Secret Bridesmaid’s Business by Elizabeth Coleman
Can you recommend any other good Australian plays or play book series that would be great for the classroom? Share them with us in the comments.