Modern perceptions of terror explored on stage

Second-year University of Tasmania theatre students will be in the spotlight this week to perform an award-winning production at the Annexe Theatre, Inveresk.

The group will present Stephen Sewell’s drama Myth, Propaganda and Disaster in Nazi Germany and Contemporary America.

The play is set in a post-9/11 world with its 30 scenes taking the audience on a complex journey that navigates cultural stigmas and attitudes on ‘terror’.

It follows the life of Talbot Finch, an Australian academic working at an American university who explores the parallels between Nazi Germany and the modern-day US through myths at the heart of both ideologies.

Director Grace Roberts said the play would challenge and confront viewers.

“The story endeavours to educate society on its ingrained, and at times, toxic culture surrounding identity as the characters display multiple sides of a very debated issue,” Ms Roberts said.

“The second-year students are crafting a world based around a minimalistic set, that mirrors one we live in today, but like a mirror, some things seem slightly off.”

University lecturer and play dramaturg Asher Warren said the story also debated how far state security should reach into the private lives of individuals.

“This is a big play, exploring big ideas, which isn’t afraid to push boundaries and ruffle feathers,” Mr Warren said.

“We’ve got a really engaged and ambitious cohort of students, and I wanted to give them a play they could sink their teeth into.

“It asks what it means to protect our democracy and freedom – which continues to be a pressing concern, as we watch populist politicians come to power around the globe.

“It might have been written in 2003, but it could have been written yesterday. The students have really connected with the plot, because the themes are still relevant.”

Sewell is a celebrated Australian playwright and screenwriter who is also known for The Blind Giant is Dancing, The Boys and It Just Stopped.

Myth, Propaganda and Disaster in Nazi Germany and Contemporary America will be performed between Wednesday, 15 May, and Saturday, 18 May.

Bookings can be made here.

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