Bookmarks: Book Nook’s Newsletter

Book Nook’s
June 2017 Newsletter

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Book Nook, Performing Arts Resources


We’re delighted to be able to report that Dramawise Reimagined is still selling strongly after excellent sales at DQ and DNSW Conferences; clearly the evergreen text is as popular as ever in its new and approved form. It is also great to see that The School Drama Book, a professional learning program for primary school teachers by Robyn Ewing AM and John Nicholas Saunders is becoming recognised as a valuable resource after outstanding sales at DNSW.

Australian Plays Covers

We have five exciting new Australian plays, very varied in style and subject. As well as five new charming, challenging and intriguing international plays published by Bloomsbury. Also look out for the DVD of Jasper Jones; adapted from Craig Silvey's bestselling Australian novel and featuring a stellar cast including Toni Collette, Hugo Weaving, Levi Miller, Angourie Rice, Dan Wyllie and Aaron McGrath; available from July 5th.

Australian Plays Covers

For those preparing senior students for assessments and showcases please consider ATYPs latest offering of duologues: Intersection, It's formal night and Jerry stands on a hill, high heels in hand. A young woman heads to a party dressed as a blueberry. Stuart plays at the arcade to win a slime-green lava lamp instead of concentrating on the problem at hand. What connects them is not time, it's place

Intricately drawn by Australia's leading young writers, Intersection is a collection of short stories playing out across the same town, creating a glorious map of the connections we form and the experiences we have when we're seventeen. (as usual with ATYP some of the themes and language are challenging)

Australian Plays Covers

I hope you enjoy this selection and find some titles to suit your needs.


Thank you for your continued support!

We look forward to your orders and enquiries.

Mary Sutherland

Plays & Resources

Australian Plays


International Plays


Teaching Resources


Australian Plays

 Walking into the Bigness

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Published June 2017


by Richard Frankland

A theatrical collection of stories and songs from Richard Frankland's extraordinary life as a child abattoir-worker, a young soldier, a fisherman and a field officer for the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. These are Richard's tales, given universal voice on the stage. Richard Frankland is a Gunditjmara man and a singer/songwriter, author, and creator of Conversations with the Dead. Working on the front line of Indigenous issues for the past 25 years, his aim has been to facilitate the voice of Indigenous Australians and bridge the gap between black and white.

 Things I Know to be True

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Published June 2017


by Andrew Bovell

A complex and intense portrait of the mechanics of a family-and a marriage- through the eyes of four siblings struggling to define themselves beyond their parents' love and expectations. Bob and Fran have worked hard to give their four children the opportunities they never had. Now, with the kids ready to make lives of their own, it's time to sit back and smell the roses. But the change of the seasons reveals some shattering truths, leaving us asking whether it's possible to love too much.

 Blue Bones

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Published May 2017


by Merlynn Tong

When a woman finds scars left by her ex-boyfriend of many years ago etched into her bones, she begins a turbulent journey to unpack her past and discover how he got under her skin.

Based on the true story of two teenagers’ romance as it blossoms then warps in heat of bustling Singapore, Blue Bones is a one-woman show told with incredible honesty by Merlynn Tong. Combining multiple characters, song and arcade games, Blue Bones is a whirlwind of love and sex, violence and courage, with the wreckage continuing to be felt across the years.

Against the backdrop of Singapore with all its beauty, rigidity and insistent chaos, Blue Bones will enchant and disturb, and perhaps even wake the stories dormant in your bones.

  • THEMES:Domestic Violence, Relationships, Self Empowerment
  • CHARACTER AGES: Young Adult
  • LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
  • CAST SIZE: 1 - 2 Cast Members
  • TARGET AUDIENCE: Senior Years

 Letters to Lindy
A Mother’s Loss. A Nation’s Obsession.

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Published June 2017


by Alana Valentine

"The most powerful thing that has been done on my story, and the most true to what I lived through." — Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton

The court case captivated a nation. A mother accused of murdering her child, her claim – that the baby was taken by a dingo – denied and discredited by zealous police and a flawed legal system. The media circus, the rumours, the nation’s prejudices laid bare. And in the eye of the storm: Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton.

Over three decades, from baby Azaria’s death to the final coroner’s report, the public’s fascination with Lindy seldom waned. The National Library holds a collection of more than 20,000 letters to Lindy. From sympathy to abuse, from marriage proposals to death threats, the correspondence traverses the gamut of responses to Lindy’s story.

Letters to Lindy draws on this correspondence and interviews with Lindy herself. It is an enthralling, revealing, and long overdue dialogue between Lindy and the nation; a portrait of the wisdom and resilience of a grieving mother.

This new work by award-winning playwright Alana Valentine ( Ladies Day, Parramatta Girls) explores the public’s relationship with one of Australia’s most iconic figures.

"A fascinating collage of Australian attitudes to grief, justice,celebrity, and women who do not conform." – Sydney Morning Herald


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Published May 2017


by Dean Bryant

“But what about the children?”

“Gay marriage was – still is – a hot topic in Australia. But I didn’t really want to come at it from a judicial or political point of view. So I thought, the main reason people bring up against gay marriage is, “What about the kids that come out of these relationships?” So I thought, why don’t I go to the kids of gay parents and interview them and find out how their lives have been and what it’s been like growing up.” — Dean Bryant

A funny and moving piece of real-life theatre Dean Bryant’s Gaybies tells the story of children who have grown up with gay parents. Drawn straight from interviews with children aged four to forty, these are authentic accounts of family life told with humour, honesty and wisdom.

  • CAST: Large Cast Without Doubling
  • LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
  • THEMES: Family, Equality, love


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Published March 2017


by AYTP National Studio 2016

It's formal night and Jerry stands on a hill, high heels in hand. A young woman heads to a party dressed as a blueberry. Stuart plays at the arcade to win a slime-green lava lamp instead of concentrating on the problem at hand. What connects them is not time, it's place.

Intricately drawn by Australia's leading young writers, Intersection is a collection of short stories playing out across the same town, creating a glorious map of the connections we form and the experiences we have when we're seventeen.

Each year ATYP (Australian Theatre for Young People) brings together 20 young writers from across the country, and challenges them to create stories that speak to the experience of being a young person in Australia, here and now. Expanding on the popular Voices Project, Intersection features heartbreaking, funny and powerful interactions between characters coupled with complex and beautiful monologues to create a compelling snapshot of life at seventeen.

International Plays

 The Wheelchair on My Face
The Humours of Bandon
three funny, vibrant and theatrical monologue plays for female performers

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Published February 2017


by Sonya Kelly, Noni Stapleton, & Margaret McAuliffe

The Wheelchair on My Face by Sonya Kelly
Sonya tells her story about growing up with poor vision that went undiagnosed until she was seven years old. Combining memoir, theatre and stand-up comedy, this delightful story of a myopic child shows us how we can better the world even if we cannot see the world.

Charolais by Noni Stapleton
A dark comedy of love, longing and an intense rivalry with a Charolais cow. Siobhán is forced to share the affections of her farmer boyfriend with his beloved, prize-winning French heifer. Overcome with desire, Siobhán develops a homicidal jealousy for this cow, while feeling equally murderous towards her snobbish, soon-to-be mother in law.

The Humours of Bandon by Margaret McAuliffe
Nobody knows where their five year old will take that first after-school activity. To the surprise of her mother, Annie takes it all the way to the top – of the Irish Open Dancing Championships. Armed with optimism, drive and passion, Annie's about to learn that life doesn't always go according to plan.

Developed as part of Show in a Bag, an artist development initiative of Dublin Fringe Festival; Fishamble: The New Play Company; and Irish Theatre Institute to resource theatre makers and actors. The plays were then produced by Fishamble, touring throughout Ireland, the UK, USA and Europe.

 As the Crow Flies

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Published March 2017


by Hattie Naylor

I can still hear them, I hear them in my head all the time.
Those songs I sang. But I don't sing them anymore.

Alfie keeps hiding Beth's gardening gloves. She's got lots to do and it's just not funny anymore. Why won't he realise that gardening is helping her forget everything? Why can't he see she's still not over her divorce? Why can't he just be nice?

Based on a true story of a woman who struck up an unlikely friendship with a wounded crow, As the Crow Flies is a heart-warming story of friendship, healing and kindness from award-winning playwright Hattie Naylor.

A funny, moving and timeless story of our endless fascination with birds As the Crow Flies was first produced by Pentabus Theatre Company in March 2017.

 Gently Down the Stream

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Published February 2017


by Martin Sherman

Beau, a pianist expat living in London, meets Rufus, an eccentric young lawyer, at the dawn of the internet dating revolution. After a life spent recovering from the disappointment and hurt of loving men in a world that refused to allow it, Beau is determined to keep his expectations low with Rufus.

But Rufus comes from a new generation of gay men who believe happiness is as much their right as anyone else's, and what Beau assumed would be just another fling grows into one of the most surprising and defining relationships of his life.

A remarkably moving, brilliantly funny love story, Gently Down the Stream is the latest play from acclaimed playwright Martin Sherman. The play reflects the triumphs and heartbreaks of the entire length of the gay rights movement, celebrating and mourning the ghosts of the men and women who led the way for equality, marriage and the right to dream.

It received its world premiere at the Public Theatre, New York, on 14 March 2017 in a production starring Tony-award winner Harvey Fierstein.

 Snow in Midsummer
based on the classical Chinese drama by Guan Hanqing

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Published February 2017


by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig

Men in this town were born with mouths that can right wrongs with a few words. Why are you too timid to speak?

As she is about to be executed for a murder she didn't commit, young widow Dou Yi vows that, if she is innocent, snow will fall in midsummer and a catastrophic drought will strike.

Three years later, a businesswoman visits the parched, locust-plagued town to take over an ailing factory. When her young daughter is tormented by an angry ghost, the new factory owner must expose the injustices Dou Yi suffered before the curse destroys every living thing.

A contemporary re-imagining by acclaimed playwright Frances-Ya Chu Cowhig of one of the most famous classical Chinese dramas, which breathes new life into this ancient story, haunted by centuries of retelling.

The world premiere of Snow in Midsummer on 23 February 2017 at the Swan Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon, launched the RSC's Chinese Translations Project, a cultural exchange bringing Chinese classics to a contemporary Western audience.

 I Love You Mum — I Promise I Won’t Die

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Published February 2017


by Mark Wheeller

I'd had a conversation specifically with Dan about ecstasy. It's one of the things you do as a parent, isn't it? Wear your helmet when you're out on your bike, you know, don't take drugs. To be honest, I was more worried about him being safe on his bike than at a party with his friends.

The words of the title are the last ones spoken by sixteen-year-old Daniel Spargo-Mabbs to his mother. In January 2014, Daniel's parents thought he was going to a friend's house. He actually attended an illegal rave and later died after taking MDMA.

That fateful evening is told through the words of his school friends and family, divided into two hard-hitting acts in Mark Wheeller's verbatim play.

I Love You, Mum - I Promise I Won't Die was commissioned by the charity set up in Daniel's memory to raise awareness about the danger of party drugs. It is a fast-paced, tragic, vibrant piece of verbatim theatre, which should engage teenage readers, audiences and performers alike.

 Jane Eyre

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Published December 2015


by Charlotte Brontë

Almost 170 years on, Charlotte Brontë’s story of the trailblazing Jane is as inspiring as ever. This bold and dynamic production uncovers one woman’s fight for freedom and fulfilment on her own terms.

From her beginnings as a destitute orphan, Jane Eyre’s spirited heroine faces life’s obstacles head-on, surviving poverty, injustice and the discovery of bitter betrayal before taking the ultimate decision to follow her heart.

Teaching Resources

 Learning Through Drama

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Published 2012


by David Farmer

Learning Through Drama contains drama strategies and lesson plans for use with primary school children across the curriculum. The book provides guidance to teachers who have never taught drama before but are considering using it in a subject area such as science or history and offers new approaches to those familiar with common drama techniques (such as hot-seating and teacher in role). The book includes 36 drama strategies and over 250 cross-curricular activities, including practical ideas for inspiring speaking, listening and writing.

 Playful Plays
Volume One

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Published 2012


by David Farmer

This lively collection of eight short plays for children and young people is supported by inspirational drama games designed to bring creativity and fun to the rehearsal room. The stories are based on traditional folk-tales from countries including China, Ghana, Greece, Japan, Turkey and Scandinavia.

The book is written in such a way that young people can easily pick it up and use it themselves. The plays can be performed by groups of children on their own, or under the direction of an adult. They feature performance techniques such as mime, mask, freeze frames, audience participation, live music and song.

The author draws on his experience in the professional theatre world to provide helpful advice for the young director and actor including warm-ups, tips on line-learning and ideas for character development, as well as games to develop acting skills such as concentration, focus and working as an ensemble.

 Dramawise Reimagined
Learning to Manage the Elements of Drama

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Published 2017


by Brad Haseman & Peter O’Toole

The international best seller is back, bigger and better than ever. This revised edition brings the contents completely up to date with the new Arts Curriculum.

Dramawise Reimagined specifically addresses ‘The Elements of Drama’, the first component of essential knowledge for Drama in the Australian Curriculum: The Arts.

Thirty years ago the authors first showed that all dramas are made up of the same elements and set them out in a clear pedagogic order where they could be explored and learned through dramatic action. The new book revisits and expands upon those elements, reframes them for twenty-first century education, and reimagines them for teachers and students.


  1. the human context
  2. dramatic tension
  3. focus
  4. place and space
  5. time
  6. narrative
  7. language
  8. movement
  9. mood
  10. symbols
  11. traditional dramatic meaning
  12. contemporary dramatic meanings
  13. playmaking

 The School Drama Book
Drama, Literature and Literacy in the Creative Classroom

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Published 2016


by by Robyn Ewing AM and John Nicholas Saunders

School Drama is a professional learning program for primary school teachers, which focuses on the power of using drama and literature to improve English and literacy in young learners.

School Drama was developed by the Sydney Theatre Company (STC) in 2009, in partnership with The University of Sydney. It has been acclaimed by Australian and international critics, and is now a cornerstone of the STC’s Education program.

This book is a comprehensive School Drama resource. It includes:

  • A summary of how drama and literature enhance literacy
  • An explanation of the School Drama approach and methodology
  • Learning outcomes from the School Drama program so far
  • Exploration of the art and pedagogy of drama (via elements, devices, and roles)
  • 22 classroom dramas: each comprised of a series of workshops that progress through common themes and texts

The School Drama Book is essential reading for teachers and theatre practitioners who want to educate confidently with drama, either through the STC’s School Drama program or on their own. It uses drama as a critical pedagogy, and encourages learning through activities, rather than teaching ‘about’ the texts. This approach has been shown to develop rich imaginations and creative capacities for the future.


 Jasper Jones DVD
Available 5th July 2017

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Publishing 2017


Director: Rachel Perkins

A Knock at the Window. Their Lives Changed Forever.

Adapted from Craig Silvey's bestselling Australian novel and featuring a stellar cast including Toni Collette, Hugo Weaving, Levi Miller, Angourie Rice, Dan Wyllie and Aaron McGrath, JASPER JONES is the story of Charlie Bucktin, a bookish boy of 14 living in a small town in Western Australia. In the dead of night during the scorching summer of 1969, Charlie is startled when he is woken by local mixed-race outcast Jasper Jones outside his window. Jasper leads him deep into the forest and shows him something that will change his life forever, setting them both on a dangerous journey to solve a mystery that will consume the entire community.In an isolated town where secrecy, gossip and tragedy overwhelm the landscape, Charlie faces family breakdown, finds his first love, and discovers what it means be truly courageous.

DVD Special Features

  • The Making of Jasper Jones: 5 Featurettes
  • ATOM Study Guide

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