‘5 Short Plays’ was the main focus of Transistor Youth Arts first program in 2015. It was run as a by-youth theatre pilot program and was supported by Kingborough Council and Tasmanian Regional Arts. The pilot program was developed to show the value and need for young people to have a platform, that a by-youth theatre company provides, to create new theatre that expresses their lived experiences, and so doing, acts as a self-advocacy tool for self-empowerment and positive growth and development.

“I feel really humbled that such great artists have been involved in the project. They have been really generous with the participants in sharing their knowledge and experience. It’s a great opportunity for the participants to work with people like Ryk Goddard who gives the young actors the perspective of someone who has a high public profile, has run theatre companies and performed in Internationally screened films (First Fagan). Then you have someone like Jacob Williams who began in Hobart and now tours the world as a puppeteer with his own company and with huge spectaculars like ‘King Kong the Musical’ and ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’. Then there’s Marisa Mastrocola who has shared her experience of making new work with some of Australia’s most important Directors like Maude Davey, Deb Pollard and Nigel Kellaway. Finally, Carrie MacLean, who is one of my favourite playwrights, has written and performed numerous works for Festivals and Companies in Tasmania as well as co-starring in ‘First Fagan’.”

Director of 5- Short Plays Lucien Simon

The young actors (aged 12-17yrs) auditioned to take part in a 10-week series of drama skills workshops before being introduced to the professional writers and puppeteer to produce these original performance pieces. The result was 5 Plays:

Kalifa (Ryk Goddard): a slapstick comedy about the end of the world.

The Black Swan and the Broken Heart (Carrie McLean): It’s one thing to want the best for your child; it’s another to demand it.

Lost and Found (Marisa Mastrocola): Home is more than place, it is the people you love, and it is your friends.

Happily Ever After (Marisa Mastrocola): Sometimes the only escape is in your imagination.

Last Stop (Lucien Simon): At the last stop on the bus route two girls displaced within their family fight each other for the right to possess the bus stop bench.


Linking these plays was stunning puppetry designed by International Puppeteer Jacob Williams (King Kong Live the Musical) and performed by members of the ensemble.


‘5 Short Plays’ was performed at the Kingborough Performing Arts Centre to the public as well as having two schools shows.


What the Audience said:

"What I saw. most of all, was that these young people were very proud of their work. That they owned the stories and their part in performing them. The whole evening,was about their voices the voices of young Tasmanian people." Simone Fravelle, Tasmanian Carers Association

"The input of the performers into writing the plays was apparent, and added to the authenticity of the “voice” of the characters, which no doubt grew out of the “group-devised” and “improvisation” sessions. It was interesting to note that the topics were relevant and of interest to young people, and working with the professionals, in a collaborative effort, must have been a wonderful opportunity for the students." Merlene Abbott, reviewer for Stage Whispers

"I throughly enjoyed Transistor Youth Arts production "5 Short Plays".The actors and puppeteers demonstrated their talent on stage, but I continued to be impressed after the applause when the young people were asked to come back on stage and take part in a Q and A, facilitated by their director. What struck me was the confidence with which they responded to the questions and the thoughtful nature of their answers. This indicated that the skills they had acquired as performers have transferred into their everyday lives. The future of Tasmanian theatre is in good hands." Dr. Jo Richardson