Zeal Theatre Australia

PRODUCTIONS




LUCKY COUNTRY

Lucky Country

"Our school has been in the news a lot lately."

When a young refugee boy arrives at Cook Vale High School, he is given the name 'Lucky' by the enthusiastic and open-hearted principal of the school. Two boys in his class are not so open-hearted and their 'special welcome' of the new student triggers a chain of events which engulfs the whole community.

LUCKY COUNTRY was created with the assistance of students from International Grammar School in Sydney in late 2015 and premiered in February 2016. Performed in their trademark minimalist style and exuberance by Zeal collaborators Tom Lycos and Stefo Nantsou, the makers of "The Stones", "Burnt" & "King-Hit", LUCKY COUNTRY is a timely look at multi-cultural Australia, current global debates on the refugee crisis and the role the media plays in shaping public opinion.

"Zeal Theatre, as always with their plays, bring freshness not only in performance but in the topics covered in "Lucky Country". They always present interesting and risky social issues close to us all but which we do not want to speak about..."
-Dushan Ristevski - MacTel review

"The themes presented were carefully executed with great expertise, making sure that the impact was deliberate and powerful."
-Year 12 student review

  • Recommended Audience:   12+ years
  • Running time:   65 mins
  • Set up time:   60 mins
  • Pack up time:   30 mins
  • Staging:   Audience on 3 sides around the actors or traditional proscenium arch setting
  • Cost:   $6 per student or minimum $720 (+gst)

Curriculum links:

  • NSW - PDHPE, Creative Arts (Drama), Society and Culture
  • ACT - Interdisciplinary, HPE, The Arts
  • VIC - HPE, The Arts (Drama, Dance), Personal Learning, Communication, Interpersonal Development, ICT, plus DET Safe Schools are Effective Schools, Respect in Schools Strategy (Respect Agenda)
  • QLD - HPE, The Arts (Drama, Dance), ICTs, plus The Code of School Behaviour National - English, The Arts (draft)
  • PLUS - National Safe Schools Framework, National Values Framework, National strategy for young Australians, National framework for health promoting schools, MindMatters, Pastoral Care, Behaviour Management, Student Welfare, Student safety, Student Wellbeing, National Education and the Arts Statement.

REVIEW OF 'LUCKY COUNTRY' by Dushan Ristevski

MACTEL.com
THE ARTS: Theatre review

On February 18 at the Bankstown Arts Centre in Sydney, Zeal Theatre premiered their new play "Lucky Country" by Stefo Nantsou and Tom Lycos.

Zeal's dynamic duo Stefo and Tom skillfully create an entire gallery of characters of a local Australian school (aptly called 'Cook Vale High School'), where all the action of this new tragiccomedy takes place. Some kids are smart, some asleep, some attentive, some playing with their mobile phones, and two in particular, the story-tellers of this play, are unaware of the consequences of engaging in a range of practical jokes on a fellow student, a recently arrived refugee from Syria who has been traumatized by war. Trauma continues to be applied and transferred as a continuous link from children, teachers, parents, police and the entire political system. Zeal Theatre, as always with their plays, bring freshness not only in performance but in the topics covered in "Lucky Country ". They always present interesting and risky social issues close to us all but which we do not want to speak about for fear of being characterized as nationalist, discriminators or people who are far from the truth. These issues pose more questions than they give answers but are required to give answers, answers are exposed to other questions about how we came to them: of course depending on what past we have had, what present and what future we want to have. It is easiest to seek guilt in other people for what happens in our lives and in Australia, but we need to find it in ourselves. Fear of the unknown and the 'alien' is difficult to fight within us all. This is one of the main messages I got from this play, a message stuck in the subconsciousness of our general community, about the consequences of the war in Syria (and certainly elsewhere in the Middle East or Africa) for people who are innocently caught in the politics of states that for their own lives and life dreams are destroyed for the purposes and interests of others. In refugee camps created by the Australian government there are many children who dream to be part of Australia to have a normal childhood, attending school and dreaming of a better future to simply avoid the nightmare of wars. But this is not just an Australian issue, it is truly international and current events seem to be constantly flowing under the surface of this powerful play. Although the play is designed for the younger generation it is certainly worth seeing by anyone who believes that goodness should be the winner of poor interpersonal relationships. The premiere of "Lucky Country" (Zeal's 49th production) coincided with Zeal Theatre celebrating 27 years of creating original theatre for young people and adults. Bravo Zeal!
-Dushan Ristevski


Lucky Country








top ^

KING-HIT

ALT TAG HERE

"...it was all my fault, I shouldn't have had the party."


It's Tula's birthday party and the theme is a Blues Brothers Pizza Night. Heaps of people arrive, the music is pumping and everyone is having a great time. When Tula's parents leave the party, things change. Two boys begin a feud and what starts as a bit of fun quickly escalates into an alcohol-fuelled war reaching a shocking climax.

KING-HIT is aimed specifically at upper secondary schools students in Yrs 9-12 and examines violence amongst young people, the perpetrators, victims, witnesses and the so-called 'innocent bystanders' and offers alternative perspectives to reckless and abusive behaviour.

KING-HIT is written and performed by Zeal veterans Stefo Nantsou and Tom Lycos who play a multitude of characters in a fast paced production blending elements of heightened naturalism, expressionism and verbatim theatre.

KING-HIT is Zeal Theatre's 46th production and continues the company's firm commitment to producing high quality, powerful and contemporary issue-based plays for secondary schools.

"I think you guys really hit the nail on the head about my generation because parties and fights are something we can all relate to."
- Year 9 Student

  • Recommended Audience:   14+ years
  • Running time:   55 minutes
  • Set up time:   45 minutes
  • Pack up time:   30 minutes
  • Staging:   Audience in semi-circle around the actors or proscenium arch setting.
  • Cost:   $6 per student or minimum $720 (+gst)

Curriculum links:

  • NSW - PDHPE, Creative Arts (Drama, Dance), Anti-bullying Plan for Schools, Crossroads Program
  • ACT - Interdisciplinary, HPE, The Arts, plus Countering Bullying, Harassment & Violence in Public Schools
  • VIC - HPE, The Arts (Drama, Dance), Personal Learning, Communication, Interpersonal Development, ICT, plus DET Safe Schools are Effective Schools, Respect in Schools Strategy (Respect Agenda)
  • QLD - HPE, The Arts (Drama, Dance), ICTs
  • National - English, The Arts (draft)
  • PLUS - National Safe Schools Framework, National Values Framework, National strategy for young Australians, National framework for health promoting schools, MindMatters, Pastoral Care, Behaviour Management, Student Welfare, Student safety, Student wellbeing, National Education and the Arts Statement.

King-Hit

King-Hit

King-Hit

King-Hit

King-Hit

top ^

BURNT

BURNT

"Dad said 'promise me you'll never sell the farm'...I promised."

Originally commissioned by Sydney Theatre Company in 2009, this award-winning play tells the story of a farming family struggling to keep their farm during a prolonged drought. Seen through the eyes of a pair of Year 10 twins faced with the prospect of moving to another town, this powerful production celebrates the resilience of regional communities.

BURNT was created with the assistance of many Year 9 and 10 students throughout regional NSW after a lengthy research/workshop program with Zeal collaborators Stefo Nantsou, Tom Lycos and Lindy Sardelic, who play an entire town of characters in what is truly an 'Australian Story'.

BURNT is aimed at secondary schools students and adults and was published by Currency Press in "The Zeal Theatre" in 2011 with two other Zeal plays 'The Stones' and 'Taboo'.

"...the skills of the ensemble are plentiful as they take on all the characters and play live music within a beautifully told story."
- Sun Herald


"...I'm trying to get my 9s and 10s into slow motion, soundscape, freezes, now they know what I'm talking about."
- Drama teacher


  • Recommended Audience:  14+ years
  • Running time:  90 minutes
  • Set up time:  60 minutes
  • Pack up time:  30 minutes
  • Staging:  Audience on 3 sides around the actors or proscenium arch setting.
  • Cost:  $8 per student or minimum $880 (+gst)

Curriculum links:
  • NSW - PDHPE, Creative Arts (Drama, Dance), Society and Culture
  • ACT - Interdisciplinary, HPE, The Arts
  • VIC - HPE, The Arts (Drama, Dance), Personal Learning, Communication, Interpersonal Development, ICT, plus DET Safe Schools are Effective Schools, Respect in Schools Strategy (Respect Agenda)
  • QLD - HPE, The Arts (Drama, Dance), ICTs, plus The Code of School Behaviour
  • National - English, The Arts (draft)
  • PLUS - National Safe Schools Framework, National Values Framework National strategy for young Australians, National framework for health promoting schools, MindMatters, Pastoral Care, Behaviour Management,Student Welfare, Student safety, Student wellbeing, National Education and the Arts Statement
top ^

THE STONES

THE STONES

"Go on, just see if you can!"

Two boys, aged 13 and 15, are charged with manslaughter after kicking rocks off a freeway overpass and killing a motorist.

THE STONES is about risk taking behaviour and the pain of guilt when things go too far. The play places the audience in the position of a jury where they must consider whether the boys are responsible for their actions, or too young to know what they were doing.

THE STONES, written and performed by Tom Lycos and Stefo Nantsou, is a tour de force of physical theatre by two of Australia's most experienced performers for young audiences and has earned a worldwide reputation of being one of the most successful plays for teenagers. Since its premiere in 1996 the original production has been performed over 1200 times including seasons at the National Theatre in London and The Duke on 42nd Street in New York, as well as having been translated and performed in over 30 countries.

"...the performers have the tight spontaneous timing of a jazz duo."
- New York Times

"Acting and storytelling at its finest..."
- The Vancouver Globe

"...an urgent and intense two hander..."
-London Time Out

  • Recommended Audience:  11+ years
  • Running Time:  approximately 60 minutes
  • Set up time:  45 minutes
  • Pack up time:  30 minutes
  • Staging:  Audience on 3 sides of proscenium arch
  • Cost:  $6 per student or minimum $720 (+gst)

Curriculum links:

  • NSW - PDHPE, Creative Arts (Drama, Dance), Legal Studies, plus Anti-bullying Plan for Schools
  • ACT - Interdisciplinary, HPE, The Arts, plus Countering Bullying, Harassment & Violence in Public Schools
  • VIC - HPE, The Arts (Drama, Dance), Personal Learning, Communication, Interpersonal Development, ICT, plus DET Safe Schools are Effective Schools, Respect in Schools Strategy (Respect Agenda)
  • QLD - HPE, The Arts (Drama, Dance), ICTs, plus The Code of School Behaviour
  • National - English, The Arts (draft)
  • PLUS - National Safe Schools Framework, National Values Framework, National strategy for young Australians, National framework for health promoting schools, MindMatters, Pastoral Care, Behaviour Management, Student Welfare, Student safety, Student wellbeing, National Education and the Arts Statement

REVIEWS

"A stunningly good piece of theatre, brilliantly conceived and superbly performed!"
-Geoffrey Milne, ABC Radio

"An extraordinary two-man show"
-Miriam Horn, The New York Times

"Accessible entertaining and incredibly moving."
-Ian Tabbrow, North West Arts, Manchester

"They are masters of physical theatre."
-Kathleen Oliver, The Vancouver Sun

"The Stones is a gem."
-Alana McLean, Canberra Times


THE STONES

THE STONES

THE STONES

THE STONES

top ^