About the Plays

Find out more about each of the plays included with Big Dramas

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Sue Murray’s collection of Big Dramas has delighted teachers and students for over a decade. Working with these plays in the English classroom offers a stimulating, practical way in to the English curriculum, as they address many of the content descriptions and skills, as well as being powerful performance pieces in their own right. Fully updated for the 2nd edition, this varied and engaging collection presents contemporary issues, dollops of comedy and memorable characters for Years 7 to 11, and is guaranteed to have broad appeal.

Big Dramas was authored by Sue Murray with the accompanying teacher notes written by Anna McHugh.

On this page you can find out more about the plays, download sample pages, access free supporting teacher notes for Australian Curriculum: English, and find additional drama activities.

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Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled Eggs

Students are given the challenge of caring for an egg. What is designed as a lesson in responsibility reveals aspects of the students and the people around them.

Age appropriateness (Year level): 7, 8, 9
Genre/theatrical style: Comedy
Cast size and parts: 5m, 6f
Download Scrambled Eggs sample pages
Download Scrambled Eggs Teacher Resource

Full Circle

Full Circle

Dotty Spotsworth can’t decide whether or not to add the Moon to her list of all-time great circles. Sometimes it’s a circle but other times it’s just a sliver in the sky. She researches the topic by travelling the world, asking people about the Moon, hearing myths and legends from different cultures as she goes.

Age appropriateness (Year level): 7, 8
Genre/theatrical style: A wide range, including storytelling, mime, puppetry and more
Cast size and parts: Large cast with doubling possible: minimum cast 10 m or f
Dowload Full Circle sample pages
Download Full Circle Teacher Resource

Wheeler Dealer

Wheeler Dealer

What do you do when you’re stuck in a wheelchair, your mother isn’t coping and you’re starting at a new school? Become a wheeler-dealer of course! In this comic play, serious themes underline the action, and action-packed it becomes.

Age appropriateness (Year level): 7, 8
Genre/theatrical style: Comedy
Cast size and parts: 10f
Download Wheeler Dealer sample pages
Download Wheeler Dealer Teacher Resource

Blast off

Blast off

An out-of-this-world radio play that boldly goes to the limits of science fiction silliness.

Age appropriateness (Year level): 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Genre/theatrical style: Radio science-fiction comedy
Cast size and parts: 1m, 1f , 5 m or f + SFX crew
Download Blast Off sample pages
Download Blast Off Teacher Resource

Out of Your Mind

Out of Your Mind

Have you ever wondered what crosses the minds of people around you? This short play allows us to hear not only the words but also the thoughts of an assortment of commuters at a train station.

Age appropriateness (Year level): 8, 9, 10, 11
Genre/theatrical style: Expressionistic drama
Cast size and parts: 27+ characters: 7m, 10f, 10+ ‘mind set’ movement and mime group
Download Out of Your Mind sample pages
Download Out of Your Mind Teacher Resource

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

A farce revolving around the efforts of the conservative son of unconventional parents to keep his private life private.

Age appropriateness (Year level): 8, 9, 10, 11
Genre/theatrical style: Sitcom style comedy / farce
Cast size and parts: 3m, 3f
Download Home Sweet Home sample pages
Download Home Sweet Home Teacher Resource

Sticks and Stones

Sticks and Stones

An exploration of the power of gossip, using a modern variation on the traditional Greek chorus.

Age appropriateness (Year level): 9, 10, 11
Genre/theatrical style: Greek chorus inspired modern
Cast size and parts: 20+ f
Download Sticks and Stones sample pages
Download Sticks and Stones Teacher Resource

Water Pressure

Water Pressure

One man’s vision and skill brought prospectors in the Western Australian goldfields 100 years ago. This drama examines the pressures on the environment of exploration and the pressure of public opinion on one man with a dream.

Age appropriateness (Year level): 7, 8, 9
Genre/theatrical style: Choral, drama
Cast size and parts: large cast : 2 m, 2 f, 24 m or f—some doubling possible
Download Water Pressure sample pages
Download Water Pressure Teacher Resource

Mango Time

Mango Time

Manjari and her family move to a small town to start a new life. They face a number of challenges but in the end cultural diversity triumphs.

Age appropriateness (Year level): 7, 8, 9
Genre/theatrical style: Naturalistic drama
Cast size and parts: 10 f + chorus
Download Mango Time sample pages
Download Mango Time Teacher Resource

Macbeth Inc.

Macbeth Inc.

A modern version of Macbeth, set in the world of corporate raiders and futures traders. Weapons are not swords but mobile phones.

Age appropriateness (Year level): 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Genre/theatrical style: Black comedy, parody
Cast size and parts: 6 m, 4 f, 1 m or f
Download Macbeth Inc. sample pages
Download Macbeth Inc. Teacher Resource

The Princess and the Nag Hag

The Princess and the Nag Hag

A play about the tensions existing in blended families, particularly between stepmother and stepdaughter.

Age appropriateness (Year level): 8, 9, 10, 11
Genre/theatrical style: Naturalistic, drama
Cast size and parts: 7 f
Download The Princess and the Nag Hag sample pages
Download The Princess and the Nag Hag Teacher Resource

Why Are You Here?

Why Are You Here?

A theatre-of-the-absurd style play. What happens when people turn to a psychiatrist for help, only to find out that the psychiatrist is crazy?

Age appropriateness (Year level): 9, 10, 11
Genre/theatrical style: Theatre-of-the-absurd style
Cast size and parts: 4 m, 5 f + at least 10 extras who play multiple roles
Download Why Are You Here? sample pages
Download Why Are You Here? Teacher Resource

Selected scenes from The Formal

Selected scenes from The Formal

A modern rite of passage, the Formal is also a competition, a life’s dream, a nightmare and much more. The stress, the dress, the dreams and schemes, boys and makeovers: will it all be worth it on the night?

Age appropriateness (Year level): 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Genre/theatrical style: Comedy
Cast size and parts: 2 f; 5 f; 3f
Download Selected Scenes from The Formal sample pages
Download Selected Scenes from The Formal Teacher Resource

The First Australian

The First Australian

BRAND-NEW PLAY! A humorous look at Australia’s beginnings. Who was the ‘first Australian’? Do we remember the truth?

Age appropriateness (Year level): 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Genre/theatrical style: Comedy
Cast size and parts: 6 m, 1 f, 3+ m or f
Download The First Australian sample pages
Download The First Australian Teacher Resource

Selected scenes from Mirror, Mirror

Selected scenes from Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, mirror on the wall … What is it like not to trust your own reflection? This thought-provoking play tackles the sensitive issue of eating disorders. It invites audiences into a topsy-turvy world where nothing is as it seems.

Age appropriateness (Year level): 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Genre/theatrical style: Expressionistic
Cast size and parts: 7 m, 13 f, 8 m or f; 3 m, 2 f; 3 m, 3 f, 3+ m or f
Download Selected Scenes from Mirror, Mirror sample pages
Download Selected Scenes from the Mirror, Mirror Teacher Resource

Circular Breathing

Circular Breathing

A monologue ruminating on the nature of family and a big life decision.

Age appropriateness (Year level): 10, 11
Genre/theatrical style: Realistic drama
Cast size and parts: 1 f
Download Circular Breathing sample pages
Download Circular Breathing Teacher Resource

*The author and publisher are grateful to the following for permission to reproduce their copyrighted materials.

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