Watermark is a chronicle of both the physical and psychological devastation of flood in the Northern Territory town of Katherine on January 26, 1998. Based on written and oral testimony from flood survivors, the play evokes the power and torment of flood damage in a small town - the tensions and grief, the friendships and kindnesses, the fears and losses. Held together by a beautiful poetic narration that personifies the river as it swells and swamps, Watermark was originally performed in Katherine on the 10th Anniversary of the emergency. Watermark takes the audience on an immersive experience, so that we can almost smell the mud and see the struggling, drowning wildlife in the swollen Katherine River. Uplifting, moving and very funny, Watermark is a testament to both the fragility and endurance of community in times of hardship. Winner of the AWGIE for Best Community Play in 2009, Watermark is being revived at the Katherine Festival and Darwin Festival in August 2010.

  • poetic drama
  • 80
  • 8 total
  • 4 female identifying, 4 male identifying
  • young people
  • 3 to 8, 8 to 12, 12 to 16, 16 to 18, 18+
  • all ages, children, teen
  • Australian Script Centre


You can preview the full online text with a Membership


Gender Unspecified | Unspecified | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 4

EXTRACT: as the creek becomes a stream/ there is no force in it still/ It has no bulk or weight/ and merely/ leaves the smear of its wet stomach/ on everything it touches/ sometimes pooling or eddying/ its excesses/ in holes/ that puddle up/ and then join in the evenness/ that becomes a/ trail of flowing/ all in one direction/ a joining and touching of/ raindrops/ the many becoming a mass/ the hours pass/ the rain falls and falls and/ the wet has begun/


Female | Unspecified | 3 to 5 minutes
Starts on page 53

EXTRACT: I have this fantasy about the insurance guy. Yeah. But wait for it. Yeah, because it's maybe a bit different from what you think I mean when I say fantasy. See, because we were insured for water coming from the creek and not the river and when you looked at our house you could see the branches all pushed one way, which was from the creek but when the insurance guy came and looked at it he said that there was no way of proving that it wasn't from the river and so we weren't insured. Yeah.


Female | Unspecified | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 23

EXTRACT: We'll laugh./He'll have stories to tell./ I should have made him come with me./ I should have insisted./ I should have said I wouldn't leave without him./ I'll never do this again./I'll never let us be separated again./I never will./ I don't care./ I don't care how hard it gets I won't be separated./ The not knowing is the worst./The not knowing. Breathe./He'll be OK.He'll be OK. Oh God let him be OK. Please God let him be alright.

Search for details of past productions at

AusStage provides an accessible research facility for investigating live performance in Australia.

Search by play title and/or playwright name
Results will open in a new window

PLEASE NOTE: You will be directed to for search results; Australian Plays Transform is not responsible for their completeness. Refer to our terms of use.

SKU: ASC-1180 Category:

We acknowledge that we live and create on unceded lands. We pay our respects to the First Peoples of Australia, and to their elders past, present and future.

© Australian Plays Transform 2024