Writers read at The Wheeler Centre

Wheelers_BODYACU Playwriting students with Chris Thompson on the steps of the Wheeler Centre, Melbourne

Student writers from ACU’s Melbourne Campus celebrated the completion of semester with a reading held at The Wheeler Centre, Melbourne. 

Over two hours, 16 new short plays were read aloud for an audience of fellow students and friends.

The plays, which were as diverse as the student playwrights who wrote them, ranged from examining serious issues including depression (One More Day by Kathleen Cantwell), anorexia (My Friend Anna by Jessica-Kate Taylor), drug culture (Haze by Helen Cashin) and gender reassignment (Be Brave, Dear One by Patricia Draper). Funny perspectives were given on suicide (Top Of The World by Daniel Cooper), weddings (Ticking The Boxes by Owen Lee) and teenage romance (Stop by Emily Imber).

Two plays gave us humorous glimpses of bleak futures: one, a paranoid world of surveillance and implants (I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter by Paul Gorrie), the other musing about the aftermath of Armageddon (After the End of the World by Aidan Phelan)

A series of monologues that explored a tragic chain of events and consequences (Nightmare by Michael Zerbi), peeked at the interior lives of a butcher and his customer (Chewing the Fat by Monique Hook) and told a sad tale of a young couple whose relationship is floundering just as their baby is due (The House That Jack Built by Benita Compton). The final play read was political with a touching and authentic story of a refugee in detention (Do Not by Enso Neghad).

Written over twelve weeks in semester two, the students developed skills in dramaturgy and script assessment. On completion, the opportunity to read for an audience was too good to for the class to miss.

The Playwriting unit was taught by sessional lecturer and multi-award winning playwright, Chris Thompson, winner of this year’s Australian Writers Guild AWGIE award for Youth Theatre.
The ACU Playwriting class is grateful to Writers’ Victoria at the Wheeler Centre for making the reading possible.