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Only Players is an ode to the English Teacher
Shakespeare – for some it is like a religion, for others it is a fate worse than death. Love it or loath it, Shakespeare has always been a central part of the Australian high school student experience, compulsory content for all English teachers. Only Players is an ode to the English Teacher – a verbatim play that celebrates the complex work of teaching, and the power of language to create moments of magic and transformation. Four teachers reflect upon their professional journeys, the emotional struggles they face working in schools, the challenges and joys of working with students.
As the play unfolds it weaves some rough magic, and Shakespearean text, characters and scenic worlds are conjured. Hole punches create paper ‘snow’, a whiteboard becomes a forest grove, overhead projectors display threatening advancing shadows. A teacher’s discovery that a student is subjected to parental violence is answered with an excerpt from King John, in which Constance forcefully articulates her justifiable rage. Another tale of classroom struggle becomes infected by the rhythms of Bottom’s transformation into an ass from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Only Players will transport audiences from the classroom into places dark, strange, and filled with wonder.
The show will require a minimum of 50 lamps. We will tour with a Nomad ETC lighting desk.
Audio will run off QLAB on toured Mac laptop operated by touring Stage Manager.
Will require use of in-house sound desk and audio system.
Any radio mics etc will be toured by the company.
As seen in the images of the white card set model, the set design is a traditional box set of a classroom. Walls can swing open for some unexpected actor entrances. The production does not require the use of a fly system.
Production requires 4 multiskilled crew for bump in and bump out.
The production will tour in a 5 tonne truck. Cast and crew will travel in two cars. Production can not travel by plane
Audience & Marketing Notes
ONLY PLAYERS is a work for teachers & the communities around them- their friends, family & neighbours. It is also a show for students – a rare opportunity to see the world from their teachers’ perspective. This show will be loved by all audiences who have had to teach or learn Shakespeare at school (most people!). It will strongly appeal to general theatre audiences, & be enthusiastically embraced by Shakespeare aficionados. It will appeal to those who love podcasts & shows like Australian Story
- There have been almost daily stories in the news about teachers wanting to leave the profession because they feel so undervalued, overworked, and poorly served by education departments. These stories have emphasized how difficult it is to inspire students when teachers are so stressed and exhausted. Only Players will allow us to collectively reflect on how we might better support the work of teachers, and strengthen our education systems to face future challenges.
- At script readings teachers have expressed how they felt validated by the play. One commented that it would be especially powerful for teachers-in-training as it “allows for an incredible critical reflection on the journey they are about to have.” Another said: “This would make our kids sit up and go WOW!”
- There are clear links to schools audiences (years 7-12) and we will create a Teachers Resource Kit with curriculum links. A recent reading for secondary students at Bunjil Place was really positive - students connected strongly with the play, recognised the classroom scenarios and welcomed the rare opportunity to see the world from their teachers’ perspective. We are confident that Only Players will be included in the 2024 VCE Playlist. Digital workshops will be available for schools.
- Yes. We can offer a range of community engagement activities, including workshops, masterclasses and post- or pre-show discussion events. We would be very happy to discuss tailored engagement activities with venues.
Proscenium and Black Box
Available Until (from - to)
Budget & FeesWhat are these? Find out more.
In Development - work which will be produced and premiered in time for touring during 2022/2023. Please contact the Producer directly for Budgets and Fees.