Headspace by Brad Jennings

RECOMMENDED FOR: Years 8-9

CAST SIZE: 15 female roles including a chorus flexible in size (could be non-binary characters)

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

GENRE: Fantasy, Comedy, Drama, Cinematic

THEMES: Identity, adolescence, family, resilience, transition

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

SYNOPSIS: Penelope is a 17 year old girl who feels as if she has the weight of the world on her shoulders. Every day she travels to and from school on the train. It is the only time she has to herself; before the responsibility of being a mother figure to her younger sister, and housekeeper for her father, takes a hold of her. She listens to her iPod/iPhone and the playlist becomes a soundtrack to her life as she moves in and out of her own subconscious.

In this subconscious world, Penelope meets a range of different characters that represent the many roles she has to play in life. Through each encounter, a dilemma in her life is exposed. The characters know everything about Penelope! Why? How? They are a manifestation of her emotions, beliefs and internal logic.

STAGING: The script discusses intended stating as follows: The world the characters inhabit is in Penelope’s imagination and can be as literal and/or surreal as you interpret it to be. The descriptions in the script are a guide to spaces where the action takes place but you are at liberty to create backgrounds that suit the style and themes you are exploring or presenting. A large rear screen is best for creating the perspectives of these landscapes and interactive elements. The images will be composited using live and animated footage and will be interspersed with transitional sequences revealing a perspective from the train.

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 2022