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Transcript of Gary's House
About the play
First published in 1996
First produced and performed by the Playbox Theatre Centre, Melbourne and the Q Theatre in Penrith on March 1st, 1996
About the playwright
Debra Oswald is a highly respected Australian playwright. Her stage plays have been shown around Australia and studied in English and Drama classes around the country. Her plays have consistently been on the HSC Prescribed Texts list.
The main character
Loves Sue-Anne who is pregnant with his child
Building a house in the bush for his new family
Temperamental girlfriend of Gary
Pregnant with her first child
Does not like the house being built in the bush
Gary's alienated sister who comes to visit
A laidback loner camping out in his father's burnt-out house next door to Gary and Sue-Anne
A man from the shop in town, seems to be afraid of everything
: where the action is taking place, e.g. 'Gary's House' is set on a house-building site on a remote bush block
: the words spoken by characters, the conversations that they have with one another
: they tell us what should be happening on stage and will often include clues, e.g. the darkening of the stage may suggest something bad approaching. They can be used for a whole spectrum of things - set, costume, props, etc as well as instructions about movement, gesture facial expression and tone of voice, etc.
: when a character temporarily turns away from another character and speaks directly to the audience
Entrance and Exits
: it is important to notice when characters enter and exit the scene. Pay close attention to what is being said as they enter or what they say as they leave.
Scenes and Acts
: playwrights choose to end a scene and an Act (a number of scenes). It is usually significant in building audience expectations of what is to come. This is sometimes called a cliff-hanger. Sometimes scenes will be linked with lighting, props or a character remaining on stage.
: when an object is used to represent something else, e.g. a broken vase may symbolize a broken relationship
: noises off-stage may indicated the coming of conflict, of something bad likely to happen
: look out for repeated words, phrases and images. Together, these create a sense of mood or a key theme
Style of writing, dialect and language
: dialect (like an accent) and colloquialisms (words or phrases common to a particular area) are used to demonstrate the differences in social status or to show the origin of a character.
Soliloquy or monologue
: when a character is alone on stage and speaks out his or her thoughts aloud.
Language and length:
playwrights will often change the pace (speeding up or slowing down) by how the characters speak
: when the audience knows something that the characters on stage don't
: when the reality is the opposite of what is being said/shown