Gamegirl by Maryanne Lynch


CAST SIZE: 17-18 characters. Lila the main character could be played by one or several performers (except perhaps for the main characters, gender can be mixed around)

A PLAY TO: Read, read aloud, study, perform.

GENRE: Drama, non-naturalism, comedy

THEMES: Change, identity, inclusion, family, gaming

CURRICULUM LINKS: The Arts- Drama, General Capabilities – Literacy, Personal and Social Learning, Critical and Creating Thinking

SYNOPSIS: Lila is turning ten. On her birthday she receives gamegirl, a virtual reality game she has long

craved. That’s not all she gets: at the same time her parents announce that they are splitting up. She and her older sister Alex and younger brother Moogie react in different ways to this news, with Lila in particular struggling to come to grips with what it means. Indeed, Lila devises a series of strategies to deal with this and other changes following from the separation or occurring at the same time.

By the game’s end Lila has reached a point where life isn’t perfect but certainly bearable—she has reached a certain degree of acceptance of the changes within and external to herself while acknowledging that the world isn’t a perfect place. She has also successfully completed gamegirl!

Along the pathway to this point, Lila moves between the real world and the game worlds as she navigates her own life. She meets real-life characters in game-world terms and, increasingly, experiences a slippage between the two worlds. In the real world she is faced with several challenges including her father’s new girlfriend, her own developing crush on a boy, and an overbearing older sister. Lila is a flawed individual, simultaneously sassy, deceitful, vulnerable and bold. Faced with choices, she doesn’t always make the right one. Lila is all too human and in this she is a heroine for the contemporary age.

STAGING: The world of the play is in a real life and in a game life. So staging the play provides imaginative and opportunities for creating the world of home and the world of the ‘game’ – think sound, moving set pieces, screens, fabric, boxes and levels.

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