Urgent and explosive, 2017’s Year 12 Play ‘Girls Like That’ explored gender equality and the pressures on today’s digital generation.
Performed by the Year 12 VCE Drama students between 21 March and 23 March, the challenging play contained both male and female characters across a range of ages, with issues including friendship, running with the pack, self-image, online sharing and how feminism has changed over time.
The thought-provoking storyline explores the fall out when a revealing picture of a teenage Scarlett is sent around school, and shows the underlying social dynamics as her peer group react to her what’s happened. As the girls distance themselves from Scarlett, we see their own vulnerabilities and anxieties about self-image and sexuality. And when a photo of Russell also circulates, the double standards for girls and boys are also revealed.
Originally written and performed by youth theatre groups in the UK, the piece was chosen for its relevance to the issues that today’s teenagers face by documenting and sharing their lives on social media and the rapid rise of ‘selfies’.
“As an educator, I am constantly reminded of how theatre continues to be powerful medium for a shared experience,” says Dana Duncan, MLC’s Director of Dramatic Arts. “This play explores how ‘sexting’ reveals the disparity in societal attitudes between the sexes of this generation. Our students have worked collaboratively to ensure a depth of performance that engages and challenges their views.”
The play’s writer, Evan Placey, has said that he was interested in exploring whether young women were starting to oppress each other in the same ways men oppress women. “It wasn’t just that girls were bullying other girls,” he said in a 2014 interview, “it’s that they were using the same tools that men had invented to oppress women.”
With a strong, close-knit Dramatic Arts community, the College also welcomed some of our 2016 VCE Theatre Studies alumnae returning to support the current students with backstage operations.
By addressing such topical themes, the play generated strong interest amongst the student cohort, particularly those in Year 9 and above. It was a fabulous opportunity to support student theatre, and also provide a powerful opportunity to discuss the impact of social media, privacy, trust and digital literacy. Well done to all students who participated!