Tam hates the country town his family recently moved to, is severely depressed and refuses to speak. Cliff is a bully, especially vicious to anyone he suspects is homosexual. His actions, not surprisingly, hide his greatest fear. All three are placed on a special program within the school. The program works for two of them.

Better Than This is a YA play, included in the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) Playlist for Drama and Theatre Studies. The play has a cast of three and runs for one hour and ten minutes. It deals with three ‘at risk’ Year 11 students in a country school. Lucy has a diagnosed eating disorder. Tam is a Vietnamese Australian whose parents arrived by boat in the 1970s.

Better Than This was commissioned by the Grampians Psychiatric Services as part of their Good Mental Health Program in Schools with additional funds from Vichealth and The Besen Family Foundation.

The play toured country Victoria, had twelve performances at St. Martins Youth Arts Centre and an additional performance for absolutelywomen’shealth at the Royal Women’s Hospital. After each performance a panel of mental health workers/youth workers led a discussion with the audience.

Over its two seasons it was performed to approximately 1,900 young people. It was the Plenary Play at the Achieving Together Conference at the University of Ballarat and was included in the Victorian Certificate of Education Playlist for Drama and Theatre Studies.

  • drama
  • 70
  • 3 total
  • 1 female identifying, 2 male identifying
  • adolescence, young people
  • 12 to 16, 16 to 18
  • teen, young adult
  • Australian Script Centre


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Male | Teen | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 10

EXTRACT: What, what? He started it. First he said I could have the walkman and then he took it back. What was I supposed to do? You tell me,what was I supposed to do? [PAUSE] He's lying to you. [PAUSE] I can't settle down. Don't you read my file? It's all in the file.This thick. A.D.D. Learning problems. Behaviour problems. Cautioned by the cops. I'm outta control, man.


Female | Teen | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 20

EXTRACT: Tonight it's Beef Bourguignonne with mushrooms and carrots. Lots of veggies so it'll be really healthy. Dad likes his beef really rare, doesn't he? [PAUSE] No, Mum, thanks. You don't have to do a thing. Everything's under control. Just relax.[PAUSE] Yes I did go to the shrink today. [PAUSE] It went fine.She's nice. Young. [PAUSE] She didn't say much. I just told her what I told you and what I told the doctor. I have a high metabolism,that's all. I just burn off weight. I don't have a problem with food. Look, I'm cooking aren't I?

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