Hell's Canyon Emily Sheehan
For ages: 14+ (young adult-adult)
It’s rare to see a first play written by a young writer that is so economically astute, so lyrical, so authentic and so magical as Hell’s Canyon. It’s a story of grief, love, connection and growing up hard and fast. But despite the dark sorrow there is a lightness and neediness that amounts to some version of love that is enigmatic and beautifully subtle, and ultimately optimistic. - DAILY REVIEW
[CONTAINS SPOILERS] “Sometimes there are things you can’t forget about, even when you try. They show up in your brain outta nowhere. I don’t know what’s so wrong about remembering.” – Hell’s Canyon Caitlin and Oscar used to be mates, but not anymore. Six months after the death of Oscar’s brother/Caitlin’s boyfriend, Caitlin and Oscar haven’t spoken. These days, Caitlin texts boys to meet her in public parks while Oscar eats his lunch in the teacher’s staffroom. But when Caitlin sends Oscar a text message, he comes running. After receiving a medical diagnosis that morning, Caitlin is scared. She convinces an unsuspecting Oscar to run away with her. To go “full on missing". Hell's Canyon is a new Australian drama about friendship and rebellion, that directly connects to a youth audience. Winner of the Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award, winner of the Melbourne Fringe Market Ready Award, and shortlisted for the Patrick White Playwrights Award, and developed by Playwriting Australia, Hell’s Canyon has had critically acclaimed seasons in both Sydney and Melbourne.
Marketing selling points
- Award winning play - New Australian work - Strong female protagonist - Published script - Dark and surreal drama - Written by up-and-coming new playwright, Emily Sheehan - Australian outback setting - Teen perspective on friendship, suicide and grief
Key audience and marketing notes
Hell’s Canyon is an award-winning new Australian drama that speaks to a young-adult and adult audience (14+). The subject matter of suicide, grief and the loss of friendship resonate strongly with school audiences, and script published by Currency Press allowed teachers to explore the work further in the classroom. The work also speaks to an adult audience, as the Daily Review wrote, “my 14 year old daughter was hooked from the first words and experienced the play with visceral pleasure and pain. As an adult audience member, I was equally captivated.”
Community Engagement activities
- School / Audience Q&As - School drama workshops taught by the actors
What is this?
|Technical specifications||Download Now|
|Theatre formats||Best in a black box, can do small proscenium, flat floor and hall.|
|Bump in (hours)||6|
|Bump out (hours)||4|
Basic desk required, 4 - 5 dimmers, control position can be side stage, bio box, in audience. Blue and pink leds or gels required. Ideally have UV lights available (or we will hire for tour). Ideally have strobe lights available.
Ideally 2 speakers, all audio is in QLab - operator mac used.
4 flats (4800 w x 2400 h), sit 1 metre from back of stage, free standing using french braces. MDF floor the same size as flats (does not have to be utilised if stage does not permit). Set items - double mattress, wheelie bin, 2 x wooden crates. Strobe is used, as well as UV light, bubble machines are also used.
Stage dimensions (meters)
|Width: 4.8||Height: 2.4|
|Depth: 3||Wing space: 1|
Support setting up x 1-2 people