Poignant, inspirational and relevant. There are many words that can describe La Boite’s latest production, The Time Is Now. The play, which opened on 24 May is an insight into the minds of today’s youth and who better to provide this insight than 10 young actors, aged from 12 to 17.
The play is part catharsis for these young people, part letter to the adults of Australia to do better. This 70 minute production weaves the stories of these 10 teenagers with their various cares and concerns for the world. Each member of the production puts forth their ideas for an addition to the Declaration of Children’s Rights, some innocent, some heartbreaking and all much needed. Co Creators Ari Palani, Aleea Monsour and David Burton should be applauded for their thoughtful production and for providing am important space for young people in the theatre industry, where there rarely is one.
Armed with a podium, two microphones, the Declaration of Children’s Rights, chalk and tonnes of glitter, these young actors prove they are wise above their years and that the future is of more concern than to be pinned on the future generations. The minimal schoolyard inspired set juxtaposes the large concepts that the teenagers discuss: from racism, to mental health, to domestic violence to maturity, to Aboriginal sovereignty, to sexual harassment, to privilege and more. The group work exceptionally well as a chorus, with powerful physical theatre elements and simple choral blocking to compliment the monologues of each child.
The main thing you leave the play feeling is the emotions these teenagers so accurately portray. Anger, frustration, sadness, fear, love, hope, joy, hurt. You also leave with a new found respect for the teenager you once were, the teenagers you know and teenagers that will follow. This production is highly recommended for those who had to grow up quickly, those who come from a place of privilege and those looking to be inspired.
Each night a different notable adult of influence will take the place of the singular adult voice in the production, to take onboard and respond to the words of the production. Representing the voice of the adults on the opening night was Michael Berkman, Member for Maiwar (Greens), who put to words perfectly of what the adults were all left thinking. He noted that the actors conveyed their anger, their hopes and mainly their sorrow for the oversights adults forget children have to face. Berkman ended his speech addressing this: “We must take ownership of that.”
Readers also enjoyed our story about Review: HK Stories