Girl Asleep by Matthew Whittet


CAST SIZE: 10F, 5M (can be mixed up further)

A PLAY TO: Read, read aloud, study, perform and produce

GENRE: Magic Realism, drama, comedy, part fairytale and part lipstick-smeared vigilante escapade

THEMES: Family, friendship, teenager-dom, rites of passage

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

SYNOPSIS: It’s Greta’s 15th birthday and she wishes she could be anywhere else. Strangely enough ‘anywhere else’ is exactly where she finds herself in a peculiar Alice Through-the-Looking-Glass existence that transforms the weird hypocrisy of the adult world into something absurdly beautiful. The bitchy twins who make school a misery, her almost too-romantic imaginary boyfriend, her hyperventilating parents … they all crop up in her tour of her own subconscious mind. But eventually, even a girl asleep has to wake up. A play about being lost in the jungle of teenager-dom and coming out the other side.

STAGING: The most recent production of the play was set in a living room that gradually changed or morphed into a forest and the surreal other world where Greta encounters a range of strange characters. In the opening scene of the play, the stage directions state ‘GRETA starts to fall. She falls in slow motion, like she is dropping from an immense height. The sound of wind rushes all around her as she seems to gather immense speed, but she still moves in slow motion. It seems as if she is about to meet the cold, hard ground beneath her, when everything suddenly goes black’. This offers some imaginative possibilities for design. Very quirky characters throughout the play, especially in the forest, that offer students rich opportunities.

Education resource: Girl Asleep Education Resource

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