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Teacher Resource Package

atyp SEEKS TO CREATE EXCEPTIONAL THEATRE EXPERIENCES THAT ENGAGE YOUNG AUSTRALIANS AS ARTISTS AND AUDIENCES atyp is driven by the belief that the arts have the power to transform lives, enrich communities and ultimately impact on the future of our nation. The power of stories and storytelling, of sharing experiences and seeing life from another’s point of view, are integral to everyone’s growth and development. Our work is motivated by the need to improve access and opportunities for all young Australians to participate in the arts and to encourage them to share their stories, regardless of economic, geographic or social barriers. We provide a supportive, creative environment for artists of all ages to take risks, engage, challenge and test ideas and, in doing so, uncover their creative potential. All atyp programs generate stories told by young people via the development, production and promotion of new writing, and the maintenance of the dynamic creative hub that connects young people with experienced professional artists locally and nationally.

This Resource Package has been designed as a classroom tool to assist with the preparation, viewing, evaluation and analysis of the Australian Theatre for Young People (atyp) production: Out of Place. The notes and activities have been divided into three components: • Before you see Out Of Place • The Production: Behind the Scenes of Out Of Place • After you see Out Of Place They are designed for students from Years 11-12; however some of the activities could be adapted for younger year groups. NSW BOS Syllabi have been used as a guide for this resource package. It is recommended before using the recommended websites in this package that teachers first visit the sites to assess suitability of content for your particular school setting. We hope you find these activities useful and that they enhance your creative arts experiences in the classroom. Heather Clark and Adèle Jeffreys Education Managers Australian Theatre for Young People

Table of Contents

Before you see out of place what is The Voices Project? writing monologues – caleb lewis out of place – the theme Individual Project: performance – what the markers say in rehearsal

The Performance: Behind the scenes of out of place the creative team & cast interview with director – paige rattray the design process design the set lighting design interviews with the writers and cast

Get Involved! auditioning for atyp purchase The Voices Project publications advice from the cast for young actors

After you see out of place: Written Responses initial reaction design elements the elements of drama write an atyp review

Practical Responses spatial awareness audience awareness building and maintaining energy directors in action performing monologues – luke mullins monologue vs ensemble


before you see out of place

what is the voices project? All of the monologues that you will watch in this performance were created through our young writers’ program, Fresh Ink. Fresh Ink is for writers hungry for a career in theatre. The program helps writers build skills and the confidence to step into the industry. Emerging writers are matched with experienced mentors who help bring out each writer’s own voice. When the scripts are ready, we support writers through creative development workshops and public readings to link them to other companies and artists in the theatre industry. Out Of Place is the third annual instalment of the overwhelmingly successful The Voices Project. Born from the need for quality scripts specifically tailored for young actors, this collection of seven-minute monologues will challenge the way you look at youth theatre. This is a unique opportunity for a first look at the scripts that young people will be performing for years to come.

Photo: Claire Harris

writing monologues – caleb lewis There are few moments onstage more powerful than a good monologue. Done right it’s an act of virtuosity, a brief moment of stillness where everything else falls away save one startling single voice. When writing your own monologue here are ten things to consider:

1. Speech, Soliloquy and Story Who is your character talking to? If they are talking to another character then it’s a speech, If your character is talking to him or herself it’s a soliloquy. Is this an internal monologue the audience is privy to or are they rehearsing a speech for later? There’s a difference. Lastly your character may talk to the audience directly, as is the case for a narrator or Greek chorus. 2. Who is this guy? Who is doing the talking? What does this person looks like. When people open their mouths they tell us so much more than simply what they’re saying. Just by listening we can tell things like their gender, their nationality and their age. What vernacular they speak in might hint at their background; what jargon they use might give away their occupation.

3. Motive In Drama as in life, characters only open their mouths if they want something. Speech without an intention is just bad exposition. What does your character want?

4. Learn how 5. Stage Directions




Less is more. If you enjoy writing detailed stage directions write a novel. Directors ignore them anyway. Rather, choose your battles. Decide which stage directions are vital and remove all the others. Never tell an actor how to deliver a line.

6. Don’t Spell it Out Good writing raises questions and then rewards us with a partial answer. This in turn raises another question which will only be rewarded by continuing to watch. It keeps the audience intrigued and absorbed.

7. Suspense is your friend Suspense is created by rousing the audience’s curiosity, by posing questions and delaying answers, by creating bigger and bigger complications and delaying resolutions.

8. Poetry versus prose Both are powerful. Know their place. Poetry is seductive but beware of overusing it. Next to the verbal dexterity and rich imagery of poetry, prose can feel like its simple plainer cousin. It may not be as pretty as poetry but prose is the language of action and nothing is direct. 9. Subtext What is not said is often far more interesting than what is spoken out loud. Subtext is the elephant in the room.

10. Truth and Perspective Lastly how much does your narrator know and how much do they think they know? Do they know the whole story or only a part of it? What have they guessed? What have they got wrong? And finally how do we know we can trust their word? This list is by no means comprehensive but it’s a good start. The monologue is a simple and effective device and one that every writer worth their salt should have a grip on. Happy writing! Caleb Lewis

This is an excerpt from an externsive piece on writing monologues written by Caleb Lewis. Visit the fresh ink website for the full article.

out of place – the theme Out of Place is the latest instalment in The Voices Project. It is a beautifully crafted collection of seven-minute monologues presenting young characters that laugh, tease and tell stories to make your toes curl. Each piece takes a captivating look at what happens when people feel outside their comfort zone or that they don’t belong. The monologues are all very different – some cheeky, some uplifting and others quite moving. It is our intention to provide a thought-provoking performance without exploiting the emotions of the audience.



in the space below brainstorm some situations, places, people who might feel out of place. Think about who, what, when, why and how.

out of place

practical task •

In small groups pick 3 words from above. Create a tableau for each of the situations you have selected.

Identify the status of the characters in each of the tableaus

Develop the strongest tableau into a brief improvisation

reflection In your Drama journal, identify the moments you have felt out of place. How would you portray this to the audience? What sorts of characters / situations are you expecting to see in the production Out of Place?

IP: performance – what the markers say 2012 HSC Drama markers comments were not available at preparation of these resources. Follow the link to access marker comments when published by the NSW Board of Studies.



The following list is a selection of words and phrases that HSC markers use when commenting on Individual Performances. You have 10 seconds to brainstorm and write down what each of these words/phrases mean to you. (Your teacher can be the timekeeper). When you complete the list share your answers with the class: HSC students are encouraged to “focus on”: 1. “Well-rehearsed” 2. “Theatrical journey” 3. “Actor-audience relationship” 4. “Action/objective analysis” 5. “Absolute conviction and clarity” 6. “Dynamic character journey” 7. “Subtly defined complexities” HSC students are encouraged to avoid: 1. “Simplistic storytelling” 2. “Running over or under time” 3. “Unclear or incomplete theatrical shape” 4. “Lack of audience awareness” 5. “Style unsustained” 6. “Reliance on production elements (e.g. music, lights)” 7. “Lack of spatial awareness (i.e. wandering aimlessly around the stage” 8. “Low energy, one-dimensional characters”

practical task


Using the words and phrases from the above activity, complete the table below to outline what you will look for in Out Of Place monologues.

Focus On


reflection In your Drama journal, take time to reflect on the following questions • Thinking about the comments from the markers, what do you think will be your strengths in your IP? • What areas are potential weaknesses for you? • What will you do to address your weaknesses? Are there specific techniques that will help you?

in rehearsal For most of atyp’s productions our cast members rehearse two evenings a week and Sundays. They are all under 26 and some of them are school students. Evening rehearsals allow our young actors to work and attend school during our season. The Voices Project has a very short rehearsal period of 3 weeks. As it is holiday time for school and university students the rehearsals take place during the week. This gives our young actors a taste of the life of a professional actor.



Photos: Claire Harris


Have a look at the pictures below of the cast in rehearsal: • What do you think is happening in each image?

What do you think the characters are feeling/thinking?

practical task •

With your classmates, physically recreate the actors’ positions and facial expressions.

Hold the position and then improvise a monologue from that starting place. Remember, there is no right or wrong in this activity. Have fun with where you can go in the improvisation!

The Performance

behind the scenes: out of place

atyp Creative Team out of place atyp Artistic Director Director Production Manager Stage Manager Set / Props Designer Sound Design LX Design Assistant Director

Fraser Corfield Paige Rattray Liam Kennedy Victor Areces Lauren Flaherty Tom Hogan Ross Graham Carmilla Turnbull

atyp Cast out of place At atyp we make theatre by young people, for young people. Our cast members range from 16 to 26 years of age. Peach This Feral Life Falling Through the Blue/Grey Birdcage Private Research The Mangroves These Things Happen Sunrise Set Red Panda The Market Brolosopher

Georgia Brindley Lucy Coleman Rosie Connolly Sean Marshall Mia Morrissey Claudia Osbourne Patrick Richards Charlotte Tilelli Angela Tran Karim Zreika

atyp Writers out of place Peach This Feral Life Falling Through the Blue/Grey Birdcage Private Research The Mangroves These Things Happen Sunrise Set Red Panda The Market Brolosopher

Isobel Roberts-Orr Julia-Rose Lewis Sara Jane West Christopher Harley Randa Sayed Tom Mesker Joel Perlgut Krystal Sweedman Amanda Yeo Arda Barut

interview with the director – paige rattray couldn't help that daggy rhyme). For those older folks in the audience it is a great reminder of the important discoveries we made as teens by allowing ourselves to delve into the depths of our thoughts and feelings without the defensive shield that time seems to grow around us.

Q) What attracted you to atyp’s Out of Place? A) Most of the projects I work on are new Australian plays so this is right up my alley. I'm always on the lookout for new talent and people I might like to work with in the future, and where better to find them than the Fresh Ink program and The Voices Project? Q) What’s the biggest challenge in working with a variety of brand new monologues? A) All of the pieces have an individual voice and, although they were inspired by the theme 'out of place', completely different topics. This provides many advantages but also lots of challenges in regards to design and tonal shifts. The great thing about it is the different places we are transported to; creating those worlds is already proving lots of fun and firing our imaginations in the rehearsal room. Q) What do you hope people get out of seeing this performance? A) People will identify with this show in very different ways. Most of our characters are 16-17 years old and the writers have brilliantly captured the themes of the teens (sorry, I

I hope the show will leave people energised and ready to head back out into the world with a bit of warmth in their heart and a spring in their step (maybe even cracking a few of the moves from our ensemble movement pieces throughout the show...). Q) What’s in store for 2013 for Paige Rattray? A) After this project I head to Melbourne to remount Cut Snake, a show I devised through my company ARTHUR with a bunch of talented people in 2011. We are hoping to bring it back to Sydney after the Melbourne season, and by that time I'll be in Tasmania rehearsing The Midlands, a new play by Hannah Malarski which is a co-production with Mudlark (a fabulous Tasmanian theatre company) and ARTHUR. I then head back to Sydney to rehearse Lally Katz's Return to Earth, which is part of the Griffin Independent season in September. In between those projects I'll be continuing to develop Myth (working title) a new show which is in the works for presentation in 2015. A pretty fun year all up!

the design process Below is a brief outline of the process Lauren took for designing the skip bin: Draw your ideas first

Presented to the creative team

Scale drawings

Work with the creative team

Scale models

Presented to the cast, crew and staff at atyp

The set

Used by actors, seen by audience!

design the set individually


Have a look through the titles of the monologues below. Peach This Feral Life Falling Through the Blue/Grey Birdcage Private Research The Mangroves These Things Happen Sunrise Set Red Panda The Market Brolosopher Select a title that appeals to you.

practical task Design a few set pieces that match the title for the monologue. Draw or place pictures of set items below:

Using floor plan of the atyp performance space, arrange your set pieces in the space. Think about where the audience sits and their lines of sight etc.


lighting design

monologue: red panda interview with writer – amanda yeo I never intended to write anything like Red Panda. I’d thought about it. Or rather, the circumstances surrounding it. It’s hard not to when you’re living them. A story can stew inside you for years and in a way this one has been bubbling around ever since I found out I’m not white. That was an interesting day. But it was always something I considered too personal to be shared. I was, and still am, ashamed of my ignorance and embarrassed by my need to learn. I don’t often talk about my ethnic background, both because my knowledge is woefully lacking and because there isn’t anybody to talk to. I’ve never met any Peranakans (pronounced Per-un-ah-kun) outside my own family, and the only people I know of who speak Baba Malay are direct relatives. Hardly anybody has even heard of the small ethnic group outside the Singapore/Malaysia/Indonesia area. It seemed shameful and terribly self-serving to even mention it.

that this story never be shared. Simultaneously trying to develop other monologues I could present, I threw various other ideas at the wall hoping one would stick. But this was the only one I kept coming back to. It’s easy to think that Asmara is simply a thinly veiled portrayal of myself. My parents did contemplate naming me Asmara, but dad thought people would call me ‘Ass’. However, Asmara is much more of a rebel than I. If we were in the same year in high school, we probably wouldn’t be friends. Not through any animosity – I’d consider her apparent confidence admirable, and she’d think me intelligent. We just wouldn’t run in the same circles. She trails at the back of the class to chat and I’m at the front talking to the teacher (yeah, I’m not cool).

As such, I have no idea how I ended up talking I had thought that Asmara, being bolder and about it on the first day of the National Studio. less mindful of consequences than I, might take the opportunity to seize the portrait. Somehow, amid a day of introductions and Instead, she displayed a sad sort of maturity intimidation (‘woah real writer people my gosh that I hadn’t expected – a sort of maturity that I’ve infiltrated their secret base’) I found myself I think many teenagers have, but don’t really explaining what Peranakans are, blurting out get credit for. things that I’d long known but never seriously considered. Things like the fact that the family Red Panda is a story I had absolutely no portraits my mum grew up with are now in intention of writing, let alone showing anyone. Peranakan museums. That Peranakan It’s about cultural disconnect, displacement museums exist. That if I wanted to see those and identity, and longing to be more than same portraits now I’d have to pay an what you are. It’s about moving on and admission fee. looking back. It’s about overwhelming loss. I think other people may be able to relate to it. Vocalising it brought it to the forefront of my mind, and when I realised the idea wasn’t I wish they couldn’t. going away I began writing with the intention

interview with actor – angela tran Why do you think your character is “out of place”? How do you portray this to the audience? I don't want to ruin too much! But I think culturally, she is out of place. She is stuck in two worlds: the culture that she's grown up in, and the culture that belongs to her heritage. She doesn't completely fit in with either. The writing is fantastic and does a lot of the portraying of this for me. Tell us a little about the skill required to perform a monologue within an ensemble. How do you distinguish between the solo and group performances you give? It requires a lot of awareness of what other people around are doing, rather than just on what you're doing. This is especially apparent when we have move together in and out of space (during transitions for example). My monologue gives me a focus on solo

performance, whereas with all the others it's different. While it's someone’s turn to perform individually, the rest of us group members act to support them. How does it feel to have the writer of your monologue so closely affiliated with the production? Does it change the way you approach your character, research and preparation of the role? I feel a stronger sense of duty to be faithful to the script and the character that my writer, Amanda, has created. I try to be this as best I can, right down to the punctuation of the text. Research has been diligent. Because the writers are so closely connected, I feel like it's also given them a stronger voice.

monologue: sunrise set interview with writer – krystal sweedman How did you come up with your idea for your monologue? The idea started with a question. What does it mean to be 17? For me, it meant moving to Brisbane for University, from a small town in Far North Queensland. I knew that I wanted to write about the stage in a young person's life where they leave their family behind, in order to find themselves and their path. I explored a number of different story options, but finally settled on Sunrise Set when the title presented itself during a workshop and intrigued me enough to try and discover what it meant. What was the process involved in developing your character? Sarah arrived fairly well formed, however her driving motivation deepened throughout the course of the rewrites.

After the first draft and some helpful feedback from mentor Ross Mueller and the rest of my writing group, I realised that showing her Gran that she loved her, wasn't enough to motivate her fulfilling the wish now, and so I explored the characters backstory further, coming with a whole other story that happened before this moment. How much of the character/story is based on your own experiences? When I was fifteen I performed at most of our community events. Grandma was one of my biggest supporters. She regularly said "I can't

wait to see you sing on television but you'll have to do it before I die" because like some people who reach a certain age, she was obsessed with her impeding passing. Luckily for me, when I was 16 the Channel V truck came to our school inviting us to the park after school for a free, televised performance. In a cheeky move, I approached the presenter and asked if I could sing at the concert. They said they'd see what they could do, and next thing you know, I'm being told I have one minute to sing a song of my choice. And so I did. For a crowd of 300 live watchers and thousands more on the box. But it was my Grandma's face when we sat down to watch the recorded version, which I remember most about the experience. The chosen place was very much based on my own experience. Every day the school bus would drive past the Rodeo grounds; this

arena was the location of Mareeba's two biggest events, the Rodeo and the Country Music Festival. Everything else was pure story. What was the most challenging part of the process of scriptwriting? Getting the right story. I went through five different narratives before I hit on one that flowed. You just have to keep trying until you feel something akin to excitement. Describe the experience of hearing your work read for the first time by the actors. I love actors. I love that moment when another person's imagination connects with yours and adds their own experience and depth to your work. It's really helpful as well, because suddenly you have some distance and you can tell what words aren't working or where the energy lags. Usually then, I'll go and rewrite.

interview with actor – charlotte tilelli -18 Why did you audition for out of place? I auditioned for out of place simply to get more experience with auditioning processes (this audition was completely different to any auditions I've done yet) with a view of (if I got in) gaining further experience working with a different director and focusing on developing my performance and ensemble skills. Why do you think your character is “out of place”? How do you portray this to the audience? I feel my is very disconnected with her grandma which there for leaves her feeling / being out of place. I portray this in subtle ways e.g. through body language which may come off as "awkward" which helps to distinguish the characters sense of be uncomfortable and "out of place" in her nan’s room. Describe the atmosphere of the rehearsal room. The atmosphere in the rehearsal room is well, very hot! However everyone is really energised and we are working

really well as an ensemble! We sometimes have these great " ensemble moments" were everyone ends up working/moving together at the same time. The atmosphere is great everyone’s really willing to help each other out at all times! Not to mention Paige's energy is great fun to work with! Tell us a little about the skill required to perform a monologue within an ensemble. How do you distinguish between the solo and group performances you give? Our ensemble work is really important when it comes to this show. The skill of gaining complicite within the ensemble can be very difficult however within a week of rehearsals we were all really "in-sync" and are becoming really aware of each other in the space which creates a fantastic ensemble atmosphere. It’s so important to have this ensemble connection when performing your monologue to ensure that the performance as a whole flows smoothly, as well as the importance of the

ensemble work that goes on during some of the other monologues which helps to support the performing actor.

into consideration the reasons behind things like structure and stage directions a little more than I usually would.

How does it feel to have the writer of your monologue so closely affiliated with the production? Does it change the way you approach your character, research and preparation of the role? It can be a little nerve racking I'm not going to lie. Having to bring this character to life for them is quite daunting because it’s hard to tell if you are interpreting the character how they imagined, and you don't want to disappoint them! Having this close affiliation has made me approach my monologue in a more personal way and I have done a lot more research and taken

Describe the experience you get at atyp of working with professional artists, directors designers etc. The experience is fantastic, you get to work with professionals as well as getting to be treated like professionals which isn't always the case being a "young performer" in this industry. Being able to work with these people allows us as young performers to gain such a deeper understanding of “the world of theatre and performance" and we get to develop all these new skills that these professionals bring to rehearsals/ production.

Photo: Olivia Martin-McGuire

monologue – falling through the blue grey interview with writer – sara west How did you come up with the idea for your monologue? I literally stumbled on this incredible place near my parents’ house in Adelaide. It's a disused quarry that used to function as an open cut concrete mine. I've always had a passion for young female roles because I have an acting background so telling a story through a young girl with a missing father just kind of crept into my consciousness while I was kicking dust at this incredible place I had found. I think it's important to let yourself

sit in places and imagine the kind of people that this place would mean something to. What was the process in developing your character? I knew I wanted her to be strong - frail girls don't find themselves down in places like this and if they do they don't own them the way Grem does. I wrote a more about her father and the history of that relationship that eventually was cut but I think it definitely helped me understand where she came

from and her motivations so writing things; knowing they wouldn't be in the monologue, was a great help. How much of the character/story is based on your experience? My dad is a construction worker or was before he retired to a desk but that’s about as far a link goes. I do feel some connection with her wanting to connect with her father more and feeling connected to an incredibly beautiful place that would have never been considered that. Nature flaws me and I'm a little bit obsessed with it taking over land we, as humans, have ravished.

What advice would you give to aspiring scriptwriters? I think structure is really important. My advice is too read as many scripts as you can. Everything is connected but starts on the page and how you word it and structure a sentence gives a suggestion to how it will be played or brought to life - I find that power amazing.

interview with actor – rosie connolly 19 your monologue, you are working to draw the audience in, and make them truly engage with your narrative.

Photo: Olivia Martin-McGuire

Why did you audition for out of place? I worked on the first Voices Project, Tell It Like It Isn't and it was an incredible and rewarding experience, so I couldn't wait to have the opportunity to work in the same environment. It is so unusual to be able to work this close to the writer of your work, or to be literally the first person to perform a piece of theatre.

Tell us a little about the skill required to perform a monologue within an ensemble. How do you distinguish between the solo and group performances you give? I think the main skill is learning to support rather than steal focus, as well as to work as one. The ensemble work requires all of us to be completely in sync, with no one person trying to stand out or be the focus. We are working to support and supplement another actor's work, not make them work harder to be the most important person on stage. However, when you are performing

How does it feel to have the writer of your monologue so closely affiliated with the production? Does it change the way you approach your character, research and preparation of the role? It is equally awesome and scary. Being so close to the writer means you can get clarification on a lot of your research and preparation, which can be super useful. However, you also feel a huge sense of responsibility towards your writer, because you can literally see them in the audience as you perform. You know how much work has gone into each monologue, and there is quite a bit of pressure to do it justice. Describe the experience you get at atyp of working with professional artists, directors designers etc. It is unparalleled. I've done quite a lot of work in collectives, working with actors and creatives of my own age and experience, and the difference in quality and professionalism in this team is unimaginable. It is such a phenomenal experience to see professionals at work, but also to see how much of a unit a production team is, and how they trust each other so much and can almost read each other’s’ minds.

monologue: this feral life Interview with writer – Julia-rose lewis As a writer the process of handing over the words you've agonised over, spent hours tweaking and reading allowed to yourself , the words that have come from inside you, onto the page for what you hope will be an audience, handing these words over to an actor can be frightening, and challenging for lots of reasons. Particularly because deep down a writer always feels like they know the character better than anyone ever will. This of course is not true, I mean of course initially it is true. As you're writing it's true but once an actor has it, you are no longer your characters best friend. The first 15 seconds of someone performing your writing is the scariest, if you are lucky, like I was on Friday night

at the opening of Out Of Place, the following minutes will be some of the most enjoyable in your life. For a writer watching an actor perform the character well is like hearing your words for the first time. As though they belong to the person on stage and they are no-longer yours. This feeling is blissful. I watched my darling Mia turn into something on stage that I never thought she could be. Lucy gave her so much that I don’t think I ever would have imagined in her. I suppose as naff as this will sound... she absolutely came to life.

Interview with actor - lucy coleman – 22 Why did you audition for out of place? I had a lot of fun in last years The One Sure Thing, and wanted to be a part of it again this year. Why do you think your character is “out of place”? How do you portray this to the audience? Her Dad has passed away and she can feel the way everyone is treating her differently. She hasn't quite dealt with it yet and has a fractured view on things. Describe the atmosphere of the rehearsal room. Great! Paige the director has created a really fun, energetic and at the same time respectful environment. We are all really supportive of one another and the energy in rehearsals has been really positive. Tell us a little about the skill required to perform a monologue within an

ensemble. How do you distinguish between the solo and group performances you give? When you are a part of the ensemble whilst someone else in performing their monologue it is important to not pull focus and let that person tell their story. You are just the background supporting their performance. Then when it's your monologue that's your time to grab the audience’s attention and tell your story. Describe the experience you get at atyp of working with professional artists, directors designers etc. It's such a great experience. Working with a professional crew really makes you take it seriously and work hard to make the play the best it possible can be. You learn so much from working with people that have such a vast background of experience.

Get Involved!

how do you audition for an atyp show? All atyp auditions are advertised on our website and in our e-newsletter. Once they are advertised call atyp to book an audition time 02 9270 2400. atyp’s productions provide students with the opportunity to work alongside professional directors and creatives in staging a show, providing an opportunity for them to learn from people who are actively working in the industry.

purchase the publications The monologues from the voices project are available in two publications from Currency Press. They are a perfect resource for anyone doing performance for their individual project. Visit Currency Press to order your copy now!

advice from the cast for young actors What advice would you give to young actors preparing for the HSC Drama performance? “The monologue you choose will have a huge impact on how much you enjoy your performance and your success (obviously). Pick a piece you absolutely love - you have to work on it for almost a year! But try and pick something where the character or the way you would play it doesn't immediately come to you - if you're going to work on it for a while you need somewhere to go, and obstacles to overcome. Most of all, just have fun! There's nothing worse than thinking of your monologue as a chore, it should be an escape from what can be a very stressful year.” Rosie Falling Through the Blue/Grey

“Don't stress! Pick the monologue that feels right for you! If you put pressure on yourself, it affects your capacity to be creative with your script. Also, try not to over rehearse, it kills your energy!” Angela Red Panda

“Pick a monologue that you instantly click with and then work on it non-stop! The more you work on your script by breaking it down, etc the more you get to find out about your character and the more options you have to explore. I also think experimentation is really important as you can discover so many little character quirks that you can add to deepen your performance! Having just completed drama as one of my HSC courses I found that it is really important to perform in front of someone during your rehearsals periods from time to time even if it is just a friend or a sibling, as audience feedback can be so useful and can reveal things about your monologue that you never even thought about. It allows you to gather an understanding of how the audience "educators" are going to interpret your piece!!” Charlotte Sunrise Set

“Take risks, do it how you want to do it, and have fun! Try it every way possible to see what comes out of it and then just let it fly.” Lucy This Feral Life

Photo: Olivia Martin-McGuire

after you see out of place written responses initial reaction What was your initial reaction to the performance? What sticks out in your mind? ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________






Would you recommend the performance to a friend? Why / why not? ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________

design elements Costumes Describe the costumes. How was costume used to portray character? Was the use of costume successful? Why / why not? ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ Lighting Describe the lighting. How was lighting used to set the scene and define the space? Was the use of lighting successful? Why / why not? ___________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________ Set Describe the set. Why do you think the designer used a skip bin for the set? Was the change in set effective? Why / why not? ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ Sound and Music How was sound and music used to create atmosphere? Identify a moment where the sound/music affected you as an audience member. ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________

elements of drama Comment on how the performance used the elements of drama:

Tension: Where were the moments of tension in the overall performance? _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________


Which moment held the most tension for you? _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ Recreate the tension in the moment as a tableau. Focus: Out Of Place is a collection of monologues with all actors on stage all the time. How did the director draw the audience's focus to the action she most wanted you to see? _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ Identify a moment that was really successful. _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ Space How did the actors use the stage space? _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ How did the set reflect the theme of “out of place�? What was the most interesting aspect of the use of space? _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________

Photo: Claire Harris

Movement How was movement used to portray each character? How effective was the use of unified movement? Why? _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ Symbol Can you identify any symbols/motifs used in the production? _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ What were the most successful symbols used? _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ Mood / Atmosphere Describe the mood of the piece. _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ What sort of feeling did you have at the end of each monologue? Did it change? Why/why not? _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ Where were the high points in the performance? _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ How did you feel at the end of the performance?

_____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ What devices were used to create mood throughout the performance? _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________


Draw a mood map that shows the emotional journey of the overall show:

Character / Role The show has 10 actors. How did the cast portray character? _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ How successful was this? _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ Identify 2 characters that stood out in your mind? Why were they so memorable? _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ Actor-Audience Relationship What was the role of the audience in the performance? _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ How did the characters relate to the audience? _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ The brief for the writers was to create characters that Year 12 students could relate to. Did you identify with any of the characters? _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ Why/why not? _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________

Photo: Olivia Martin-McGuire

reflection - write an atyp review A review is an important part of theatre criticism. It gives an account of the production with the writer's opinion of the success of the performance. Become an atyp theatre critic! Use the scaffold below to write a review of Out Of Place. Send it to We'll publish well written reviews on our website.

how to write a review:


Remember to: - Paint an accurate picture of the production for someone who has not been there - Give a personal opinion about the success of the performance You may wish to approach your review writing by following guidelines: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Statement of the details of the production, where, when, by who. Synopsis of the overarching plot of the monologues (without giving away the ending!!!) Background of the show, importance of the production (including the background of the scriptwriting process). Information about the style and genre of the piece. Analysis of the mood and atmosphere created by the cast/designers. Analysis of the choices of the director. Analysis of the performances of the actors. Analysis of set, costume, lighting and design aspects and how these relate to the themes of the show. Your personal opinion supported by examples to justify your opinion. Recommendation and / or overall rating.

Photo: Claire Harris

Remember to make it concise and clear. Try to write your review in 300 words. We look forward to receiving your reviews

after you see out of place practical responses spatial awareness Spatial awareness is the ability of the actor to be constantly aware of where he/she places him/herself on the stage. The following activity is designed to help you develop your sense of “placement” within the performance area.


practical task •

Begin walking around the space with your class. Imagine that you are all moving on a finely balanced plate and the class must be spread evenly over the floor to keep the plate from falling. Keep walking around. Fill the gaps as you see them. When the teacher beats a drum, freeze. Look around to see if you are equally spaced.

Moving to different types of music, initially walk around the space again. At your teacher’s direction, walk forwards, backwards, sideways. Walk quickly, slowly, on the ball of your feet, on the heel, on the sides of your feet.

Add the directions “stop”, “lie down”, “kneel”. With the music you may use any of those directions as you please. You may copy what you see someone else doing, or you may choose to do your own combination of the specific movements. Split the class into two groups. Have one group “perform” for the other and then swap over.

reflection •

What did you notice when you were performing? How did it feel to use the space fully? How did you respond to other members in your group as you moved?

As an audience member, what did you notice about the movement? What had the most impact? Where were the most prominent spaces on the stage? Which positions lost focus? What could there have been more of?

Photo: Olivia Martin-McGuire

audience awareness Audience awareness is a difficult skill to develop as an actor. If the script requires naturalistic acting, overt audience interaction isn’t suitable. However, an awareness of the audience is still required. When we speak oneon-one to people, we adjust our speaking to and awareness of who we are addressing. As an actor, you should be aware of how an audience is responding to your performance. Good actors will be flexible in their performance, bringing the audience with them and engaging them in the “dialogue” of theatre.


brainstorm •

Which actors from Out Of Place had strong audience awareness?

How could you tell?

How can you develop audience awareness?

practical task • • •


Split the class into two groups: one group is audience and one performs Performers find a space on the “stage” and perform a simple action (e.g. brushing teeth, peeling a banana etc.) Audience spends at least two minutes looking at the different “actors”. Which actors seem to have the greater audience awareness? Why? Swap groups and repeat the activity.

reflection •

In your Drama journal, discuss what “audience awareness” is. On a scale of 1-10, measure your own audience awareness.

How will you increase and develop it?

Photo: Olivia Martin-McGuire

building and maintaining energy Similar to “audience awareness”, an actor’s energy is difficult to define. Read the following link on developing your energy as an actor: html (Teachers: please read the article for some interesting class-room activities. The mix of psychology and acting is particularly useful.)


brainstorm As a class discuss the following questions: • What is “energy”? • How is energy different to intensity? • Why do you need “energy” on stage? • What is the effect of shifts in “energy” – both within one actor’s performance and between different actors?

practical task •

Say the following lines from These Things Happen by Joel Perglut, with varying levels of energy. You may like to say them all with the same energy or change the energy within the excerpt.

Excerpt from from These Things Happen by Joel Perglut And there’s a girl. Did I mention that? I mean there’s always a girl. She’d been away for a while, six months. Picking apples in Finland, posing with Kafka in Prague, flamenco dancing in Seville. Needed to find herself, see the world. My fault really, should have written in advance. Didn’t think to mention it. I meet her at the arrivals gate, flowers, chocolate, a card: Missed you this much and a picture of a fisherman bragging about his trout. Maybe I will tell her I bought them at the servo on the way, she’ll find it endearing. Me, the loveable slacker. What a metamorphosis, she looks great, taller, tanned, confident. Takes a while for her to recognise me. She screams. Not like her, generally pretty relaxed, I’m flattered of course but then she doesn’t stop. Security asks if everything is okay. EVERYTHING IS FINE, barely heard above the screech. WHAT WAS THAT? How was I meant to know?

reflection •

What was the effect of different levels of energy? What was it like to perform the different levels of energy? How did you generate the different levels of energy?

directors in action Directing a performance can often enhance your skills as an actor, particularly with the overall through-line of a piece, spatial awareness (blocking), energy levels and audience awareness.


Photos: Olivia Martin-McGuire


written task •

Follow the link to the Sydney Theatre Awards

• Write down the nominations for BEST DIRECTION OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION _______________________________________________________________________ BEST DIRECTION OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION _______________________________________________________________________ •

Did anyone in your class see any of the nominated performances? If so, ask them what they thought about the production.

Who were the winners? (Winners are in bold type)


Choose one of the nominees and write a one-page outline on their: Training _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ Past productions _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________


Style of direction _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ Tips that they have for directors _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ Tips that they have for actors _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________



• What can you apply from the above research to your own IP? _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ • How will that improve your IP? _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________

performing monologues – luke mullins There are plenty of challenges a monologue presents, and each one will have its individual nuances and requirements. This is compounded by the fact there is no other actor to look to for support, inspiration, energy and help when things get off track. It can also be an incredibly liberating and empowering experience. With nowhere to hide you are forced to come right to the front of yourself as a performer. Here are a few things to consider when performing a solo monologue:

1) Know who you are speaking to. Another character If you are speaking to a character who is not being played onstage by another actor, have a definite sense of where they are located but resist planting yourself and staring at eye level about two meters in front of you into the face of an imaginary person. Rather than being concerned about the physical absence of the character you are talking to, focus instead on your relationship to this person. Be absolutely clear how you feel about them and why you are speaking to them. The Audience Speaking directly to the audience can be confronting, but it can also liberate you from having to construct and maintain an imagined reality all by yourself. You can view the audience as a character or just as themselves: a group of people who have come to listen to what you have to say. Yourself Soliloquy is talking to yourself when you are alone onstage without directly addressing the audience. It often reveals the characters thoughts and feelings or is a way for a character to work through an idea or a problem for themselves.

2) Being Present Performing alone requires you to be present in a very particular way. However real or truthful you are internally and no matter how much energy you give out it will make no difference to the quality of your work if it takes you away from being present in the room. Don’t get lost in yourself or what you are trying to do. Always be alert to what is happening right now in this room between you and the audience. 3) Storytelling. Often in monologue an actor is required to tell a story in a more literal way. Do not fall into the trap of just ‘telling a story’ or recounting an event, lapsing into the past or into a memory. Always focus on why this is being said in the present. Why are you telling this story in this moment to someone else, to the audience or to yourself? What do you need to do to them now and how are you using this story to do it. Always look for why the story is being told and play that rather than simply the story itself.

4) Serve the Text Understand the writers’ intention. Get the words right and let us hear them. Observe the punctuation. Don’t impose anything on it that it does not need. Observe the stage directions: if they are good they will ignite your imagination rather than close it down – know the difference.

Don’t demonstrate the text: if you are saying it don’t do it. The actors’ job is to bring inner life and new layers of meaning to the writing, so don’t ‘act it out’ for us – reveal to us what it means to you.

5) It is not a solo. Although you may be the only person onstage you are not working alone. The light and the shadow, the sound and the silence, the design and the theatre itself, the audience and the text. These things will give you excellent material to respond to, allowing you to be affected and changed. Giving attention to them will keep you in the present moment.

6) It is not a monologue. In life no one begins speaking knowing that they will speak uninterrupted for one, ten, or thirty minutes. Approach your piece as a scene where the other person / the audience doesn’t get a chance to reply, or doesn’t choose to speak. Pause for a response from the other character, from the audience or for yourself to consider what you have said. Cut off the other person. Prevent them from responding. Wonder what they are going to say. Be affected and changed by what they do or do not say and do. Find the need to speak the next line.

7) Put it outside yourself. Do not disappear inside yourself when performing alone. There is no one else to draw you out and no one else for the audience to connect to, so you are effectively giving them permission to shut off. Always place what it is you want, your intention, outside yourself. Put it on the other person, the audience, an imagined person, place or object. Make it real, immediate and doable.

8) Don’t forget the basics. As always these fundamentals will help you out of trouble: Create clear, simple objectives and tasks for yourself so that you are always active and moving forward.  Use transitive verbs, i.e. verbs that can be done to someone or something, ‘I accuse you’, ‘I tease you’, ‘I caress the book’, ‘I study the ceiling’. Avoid all forms of the verb ‘to be’ such as ‘being elated’ or ‘being angry’.  Avoid generalizations and states of being. “I am sad”, “The character is very depressed”, “I am full of rage”. They are unspecific and will not help you to be active on stage. Hopefully these few pointers will be helpful to come back to – especially when things seem complicated. 

Do not fall back to ways of doing it that you have set in stone – the more rigid you are the more likely to break under duress. The structure with some give – that retains its shape but can bend to accommodate any weather will be the one that stays standing in the end. Enjoy your opportunity to have such a personal relationship to an audience. Once you step on stage all you have to do is be present with us in the world of the play and find the need to speak. LUKE MULLINS

This is an excerpt from an externsive piece on performing monologues written by Luke Mullins. Visit the fresh ink website for the full article.

monologue vs ensemble out of place is a collection of monologues the has been shaped into work for an ensemble. One of the challenges for the director is how to make a congruent piece of ensemble theatre out of a series of scripts written as monologues. It is an interesting task to alter the number of actors involved in a piece.

practical task - in groups of 4 or 5


Read the excerpt from the script below. Prepare 3 versions of the script. 1. Straight monologue – each actor performs the scene as a monologue 2. Straight scene – incorporate the 3 characters into the scene 3. Ensemble version – use all members of the group to re-create the scene. Remember to think about how you create atmosphere and mood. Use movement and sound to portray the emotion and action of the scene. Feel free to abstract the text – move beyond a pure portrayal of the words.

reflection which version was the most engaging? Why? Which elements would you use in your own performance? Why? Excerpt from The Market Brolosopher by Arda Barut It’s Abe. Yes, Abe. Pause. I am being honest! That’s my name! Look I’ll show you my library card. Abe waits impatiently as the policeman reads the card. Yeah the first name is Aboud on there, that’s what my friend’s call me but Abe’s my official name. I swear officer, it’s Abe Aboud Hamdam officially. Please! Listen, I went to school in Erskineville and used Abe there, but when I moved to Lakemba the kids made fun of me so now I use Aboud. But it’s Abe on my birth certificate! I swear on my mother’s grave! Please, please, you don’t have to confiscate the gloves, come on officer I wasn’t trying to beat around the bush! You can’t be serious! They’re just for people into their leather, I swear to god! Oh god. Am I gonna be charged for selling these sir? Oh god. No, no sir he doesn’t. Glances at the audience. He just works here, he doesn’t need to come up with us. Please, he’s done nothing wrong—and I need someone to look after the stall while I’m gone. Distressed, Abe picks up the box of studded gloves and walks up to the audience. Oh fuck me bro. Look, they’re gonna make me take the gloves up to the stall manager with them. Just look after the stall and if my dad calls, tell him I went to Hungry Jacks yeah? Bro I’m so fucked. My dad’s gonna find out about this for sure. Oh god. Just— just take care of the stall alright? Distraught, Abe walks off stage with the box


A big thank you to all of the cast, crew and creatives from atyp who have contributed to this resource

Some useful websites: html

atyp runs an extensive student workshop program during school terms and holidays. See our website

out of place: the voices project  

classroom activities and behind the scenes for Out of Place: atyp's third installment of The Voices Project.