PLAYS & PLAYS WITH MUSIC
     These titles have all been written with a view to staging as EITHER a stand alone play or a play with songs
                            for advanced teenagers

Plays with music for advanced teenagers ( 13 -18 years old ) All  pieces are didactic, all educationally responsible and age appropriate.** They are NOT suggested as an alternative to family friendly school productions.

These pieces are designed to challenge and extend serious minded young female and male actors. They are largely ENSEMBLE orientated, feature numerous speaking parts, and are designed specifically with gender flipping and diverse casts in mind. All of these productions lend themselves to accompaniment by a competent student rock band ensemble.                                                                                  All require minimal staging.

 

Most contain themes and contemporary language that some members of the community may find offensive. 

 

**We appreciate that these dramas, which explore most aspects of what it means to be a young person in contemporary western society, are not for everyone. There will be institutions where they would be deemed inappropriate. We believe the that prompting awareness of issues such as youth homelessness, violence, rape, suicide, prejudice and bigotry of all kinds is the legitimate prerogative of good drama.

All of our titles have been performed successfully both in Australia and overseas in schools and by community theatre groups. 

STICKS and STONES

 STICKS AND STONES:  Sticks and Stones is a musical play about growing up in a housing estate in Northern Ireland.  It is a story about bigotry and prejudice :  Set in the early 1960's the violence would begin in earnest a few years later.  By that time, thankfully, we had emigrated to New Zealand.  I remember my childhood with great fondness.  Churchill Park was a new housing estate and an adventurous place for kids to live.  The beach was close by and we were surrounded by corn fields and wooded glens - an unlikely setting for an estate where adult unemployment was chronic.  (My father suffered the indignity of many years of unemployment it wasn’t just the catholics who were disadvantaged although they were disadvantaged most).  It was a protestant community with the sole catholic family living across the road and three doors down from us.   They kept largely to themselves and were left alone except on the 12th of July when everyone went up to Dixon’s Lane to light the bonfire.  We went every year to burn the Pope.  It is still sad and amusing to recall the catholic kids tagging along at the back of the line singing for all they were worth with the rest of us the lyrics that begin this piece of writing.  It is these largely truthful events that form the backdrop to the play.

Written by David Dunn

Songs by David Dunn

Epic Theatre with 10 songs….contemporary music…downloadable backing tracks AND guide vocal tracks

Gender fluid principal roles. Medium size chorus. Age range 13  to 18 years old.

RAT TRAP: Michael/Michelle, Dan and Abby, having left home find themselves sheltering in an abandoned building with other kids their own age. There is no running water, no electricity. It is damp cold and dangerous. McLeod complicates existence by bringing drugs to the ’squat’. This immediately intensifies conflict with Dan and Michael/Michelle. The agreement was that there would be no drugs.

EXTRACT:      

The wheels keep turning in the city tonight

And some people just don’t understand

It’s easy sitting pretty when you’re doing alright

It’s all working out like you planned

But a future ain’t a future when you’re down in the gutter

Cause the future’s taken out of your hands

In a rat trap.  Caught in a rat trap.

No way out!

Written by David Dunn

Songs by David Dunn

Epic Theatre with ten songs….rock genre….downloadable backing tracks AND vocal guide tracks

live rock band chords and lyrics.

Gender fluid principal roles. Medium-size chorus. Age range 13 to 18 years old. 

MOVING OUT:  There was a story in the media about a woman who encouraged teenagers who had left home to sign on for welfare payments and then give the money to her in return for accommodation and food. Quite Faginesque.  Falling into the trap, it was extremely difficult for the victims of the scam to extricate themselves. This is  story of deeply regrettable decisions made and the consequences resulting in rape., a modern teenage tragedy.

TESTIMONIAL: Overall winner of the Most Outstanding Production, Ballarat One Act Play Festival (teenagers performing in the adult division ) From the judges notes, “this play should be seen in every school in Australia.”

EXTRACT.     It’s like walking through a nightmare

       Take the time you’ll see what I mean

        Scream when the reality hits you, its alright

        No one’ll hear you, cause the world’s gone deaf.

        Maybe it was always deaf

        And we’ve all just shadows drifting along        

        Like straws on a silent sea;  you an me

        Waiting for a wave or maybe a saviour to shake us,

        I doubt that.  Saviours don’t come along that often;

        Once or twice maybe or maybe not at all

        And anyway all my faith went out the door when Billy died.  

        I cried that night and all the next day trying to

        get a grip but I couldn’t.  All I could do was slip down the 

        slippery slide:  Right down to the bottom of the hissing snake.

        And it didn’t take long, no it didn’t take long. 

        And nothing mattered because Billy was gone.

Written by David Dunn

Songs by David Dunn

Epic Theatre:    10 songs…..rock genre.   Downloadable backing AND vocal guide tracks

Age range 15-18 years of age

FALLEN LEAVES  In opposition to the wishes of her parents, Clare pursues her love of drama and  dream to one day go to drama school and become an actor.

 

EXTRACT:               Sure, why not and then I tell her, to complicate things a bit, ‘I’m writing a play and I’ve got these characters running around inside my head and they won’t leave me alone until I write everything down and then I’m exhausted and I can’t concentrate on anything else.’

TESTIMONIAL

The following was written by a teenage student in Bremerton High School, Canada in response to tour touring performance of the show. It was unsolicited.

“Inspiring, enlightening, brilliant, bold and musically splendid, It was a revelation.  Beautifully shocking and painfully real.  As the presence of such talent spellbinds and tongue ties me, I figured this was the only way I was capable of expressing my Awe.  Dumbfounded.  I returned to class numbly.  I was tipsy.  I nearly fell on a number of occasion.  While I watched, I had to encourage myself to keep breathing.  Blinking is nice but not truly required.  I have never been witness to any spectacle as crushingly spectacular.  It was a revelation.  Thank you, thank you for coming to me.  I am in debt to each to you.

Fascinated,”

Written by David Dunn

Songs by David Dunn

Epic Theatre......10songs.....downloadable backing tracks aAND vocal guide tracks

Age range 15 - 18 years of age

URBAN HERO: Based on two real life stories, this is a tragedy where incessant bullying leads to suicide.

Performed to universal acclaim in Australia, America, Hong Kong, France, England and Northern Ireland.

 

EXTRACT:        What happened Here?  Something happened here - not these (indicating eyebrows) these are nothing; at all.  I can talk, she couldn’t talk.  I can stand up for myself.  She couldn’t stand up for herself.  She tried once, that’s what they told me and they laughed at her.  She wanted to walk to school with me and I said no.  They said she fancied me ….. I didn’t know that, she couldn’t have fancied me, not like that, not the way they said.  Maybe she liked me.  She said I was brave, I wasn’t brave; I’d just had enough.  They killed the little dog and that was the final straw, the little dog and how they killed it and what they made her do.  So I’ve tried to find out what happened and some of it; some of it’s what she said to me and some of it’s what I’ve been told by them, the ones who did it to her and some of it’s what police said and how they said it and some of it’s what her mum said through her tears and the old lady too - it was her little dog and she knew almost everything and then there are bits that I just know --- I just know how she was feeling and what she was thinking because I was feeling it and thinking it too.  Maybe you’ve felt it sometime and if you have I’m sorry and if you’ve seen it but you haven’t done anything about it then shame on you and if you haven’t seen it then you’ve been walking around with your eyes closed.  What happened here?  This is what happened here.  Sharon’s story:

Written by David Dunn

Songs by David Dunn

Epic Theatre with 8 songs…..rock genre…..downloadable backing tracks AND vocal guide tracks

Age range 13 -16 years of age.

Full English version

Bilingual version ( English/French )

HEROES Based on a number of true stories: Australian detention centres, ‘boat people’ and HIV Aids.

 

EXTRACT:      Life’s precious, every second of it, my mum taught me that and I thank her for it and for all the love she gave me.  She’s gone now and there’s me and my dad and her beautiful memory.  She was very sick for a long time and it was horrible but I don’t think of that too much.  I think about the good times, the funny, happy times, the inspirational times, the brave times that have shaped my life for now and for the future, my bright future.  Nothings going to stop me or get in the way.  I owe it to my mum not to let that happen, even at the worst of times.  She said always put the best construction on everything; it’s what she did, it’s what I do.  I have everything I need: I have my dad and I have good and reliable friends, and I have her memory deep, deep inside my heart, forever.Do you ever think about death, about dieing? I do, all the time. I’m fifteen years old and I think about death every day, when other everyone else is thinking about the movies or the next football game or the next party, whatever.

I have Aids.  I’m used to it, the reactions I get, most people don’t mean anything, but they keep on saying things wherever I go and it’s not my fault.  I didn’t do anything… I was just really unlucky really.  This is my sixth school.  Some have been better than others, you know… ok, but in the end…Well… we always have to move on, find somewhere new, start again, so here I am: starting again.

Written by David Dunn

Songs by David Dunn

Epic Theatre……..8 songs……..downloadable backing tracks ANDvocal guide tracks

Age range 13 - 15years of age

 

 

SCARY MONSTERS: Based on two infamous shooting events perpetrated by Martin Bryant and Brenda Spenser.

 

EXTRACT:     The Attention Seekers’ club. I joined when I discovered that I was anonymous, that no one could see me or hear me. They’ll pay for that. I watch TV…no talent non entities, jamming up the air waves,  I resent that, for doing absolutely nothing. I’m going to do something spectacular. I’m going to make people sit up and take notice and I’m going to get some respect.

Written by David Dunn

Songs by David Dunn

arrangements by Russell Welsh, Peter Harris and David Dunn

Epic Theatre………8songs…….rock genre………downloadable backing tracks AND vocal guide tracks

Age range 15- 18 years of age

 

 

 

POSTCARDS FROM AUSTRALIA Based on the Cronulla race riots in Sydney, Australia and the role the media played in stirring up hatred and resentment.

 

EXTRACT     10am Sunday morning, Sydney summer morning, perfect blue sky, going to get hot, already warm, great day for the beach.

Across the other side of town in the west they’re getting organised, getting ready for the day’s events.

I’m thinking, going to be a good day, and if they come it’ll only get better.

Written by David Dunn

Songs by David Dunn

Epic Theatre…..rock genre……10 songs………downloadable backing tracks AND vocal guide tracks………. chord and lyric charts.

Age range 14 - 18 years of age

TERRY & SHELIA

 A classroom activity with independent, stand alone, cameo scenes, connecting to form a
50 minute play.
Terry and Sheila are partners.
They become pregnant.
The situation is 'impossible,' because Sheila's family is hopelessly dysfunctional.

1

Life’s a tedious argument.

2

No it isn’t.

1

Oh yeah, well what is it then?

2

It depends.

12

Depends on what?

2

Your point of view.

4

....

5

Mind your language.

4

What’s wrong with saying ....?

5

It’s offensive.

4

....!

6

It is.

7

To who?

6

Whom.

8

Pardon.

6

You say, to whom.

9

For ..........sake!

6

You can’t say that either.

10

Why not?

12

Because it’s blasphemous.

10

Oh.

11

What’s blasphemous?

15

Like taking the mickey.

4

No it isn’t.

14

Who asked you?

3

Sorry, touchy today. 

7

I can’t stand people like you.

9

I can’t stand people like you.

7

People like me, what’s people like me?

9

YOU stupid!

14

That’s offensive.

11

What’s offensive?

3

That is, calling someone stupid, stupid.

13

What now?

12

Violence.

15

Violence?

12

Yes, violence, I can see it.

7

I can feel it.

3

How can you feel it? Nothing’s happened.

10

Words.

13

What’s words got to do with violence?

5

Words can be violent.

All

SHUT UP!

4

Alright then, change of subject.  Did you hear about Terry and Shelia?

1

No ……… what?

4:

He left her, with the baby.  He’s gone back to Sydney.

8

After everything he promised?  How could he?

Written by David Dunn

up to 25 speaking parts

14 -17 years of age