Angela Betzien’s Children of the Black Skirt is a wonderful gothic drama designed for school audiences.It has deservedly won several awards, including the 2005 Drama Victoria Award and the 2007 Richard Wherrett Award for excellence in playwriting.
The story is deceptively simple: Three children enter an abandoned orphanage and are taken over by the ghosts of the past.
I love the physicality imbued in Betzien’s script. She’s a fabulous writer and her work with Real TV is always inspiring and exciting. The fact that each play is worked on as a collaborative project with the writer, director, actors and designers comes through loud and clear in the final productions and also in the scripts.
With themes of abandonment, stolen generations, abuse and institutionalisation, Children of the Black Skirt is an important issues-based play that is never preachy or patronising.
Publisher: Currency Press
Cast: 3F or larger