If the playground is potentially explosive, the staffroom is a full on war zone. Us or Them takes us inside the workings of a state high school. Students and teachers battle for survival in an environment that forces regimentation and creates tension. The human being is reduced to role playing in the playground, the staffroom and in staff meetings. And when the teachers let their hair down at a staff room the results are catastrophic.

Written 20 years ago, Us or Them remains scarily relevant.

“Skilful as entertainment with a tough line of harshly funny dialogue.” Sydney Morning Herald

“Should be compulsory viewing for all those knockers who continually whinge about what a cushy job teaching is.” Michael Hourihan

  • comedy
  • 90
  • 7 total
  • 3 female identifying, 4 male identifying
  • 12 to 16, 16 to 18, 18+
  • teen, young adult
  • Australian Script Centre


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Male | Unspecified | 5 to 10 minutes
Starts on page 26

EXTRACT: Oh, before I forget, playground duty. Could staff please keep an eye on the toilets? Constant patrols are the only way to eradicate smoking. I've also noticed some children ducking off behind the Oval. A walk along the perimeter tends to discourage the smoking fraternity. A bit more diligence from us and I reckon we can stamp it out for good. With the school inspection coming up the Boss has asked us to keep an eye on littering. Any offenders, straight on detention. Any other business, ladies and gentlemen?


Male | 20s | 5 to 10 minutes
Starts on page 34

EXTRACT: I had no intention of getting involved, none at all. It doesn't make sense. I've known Sally for a couple of years now, we've always got on well, very well. She is different, exciting and no one has affected me the way she does. Not for a long time, anyway. I know it's stupid and I know I'm jeopardising my future but God, what do you do? I can't ignore what I feel for her, not now. Anyway, I'm not sure that I'd want to. She did this piece from Vanya, and it was beautiful. She swept me away, she...


Female | Teen | 5 to 10 minutes
Starts on page 42

EXTRACT: Before you go, I, um, I'm not mucking around with you. I've been wanting to do this for weeks but I've never had the nerve. I just...well. I thought, there's no point in putting it off. I can't wait till I leave school. If you I do you might get transferred or something and I would have missed out. I wouldn't have done this if I didn't know you liked me too. I can tell. There's always been something between us, and I don't see any reason not to at least talk to each other without feeling guilty.My parents...

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