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A heart-warming tale that brings regional voices to the fore and an entire town to life!
A Country Town. A Festival. A local tragedy and a town that doesn’t talk. This tale of good days, bad days and everything in between catapults us right into the heart of a little town where everyone knows everyone, and where Ethan is hit by his past as Meg struggles with the present.
Euphoria explores the joys and challenges of country life and shines a light on mental illness with subtlety, compassion and side splitting wit. We are introduced to two key characters, 19 year old Ethan and school teacher Meg, alongside other recognisable characters in this fictional country town. Meg is battling with a mental health illness and she’s afraid. Afraid she’ll meet someone in the supermarket and they will know. Ethan is sick of living in a town where you can’t take a shit without it being reported in the local paper.
As the festival celebrating the town unfolds, Meg and Ethan’s worlds collide as the community comes together for an event they’ll never forget. Developed over two years of community engagement and informed by conversations between playwright Emily Steel and regional South Australian communities, Euphoria asks us to consider what our responsibility is to each other.
Emily Steel is one of the brightest, most original voices in Australian playwriting today. With stealth and charm, she brings to life an entire town through two actors in this deeply felt and slyly comic portrait of family, friendship and people searching for connection and for themselves
Mitchell Butel, Artistic Director State Theatre Company South Australia
1 x 3 Tonne truck
1 x car
Audience & Marketing Notes
Euphoria will attract a ‘curious’ audience, people who want to scratch beneath the surface and observe how others live. This work will also have wide appeal to those who live or have lived in a small country town and people with a connection to rural Australia. Rarely are regional voices brought to the fore and celebrated, and this aspect of the work will be of interest to a broad audience. With our thirst for authenticity and truth in our world of fake news and reality TV, Euphoria will engage audiences with an interest in unique stories that reflect real life experiences. Set in a fictional country town, this work recognises that people in country areas face a range of stressors unique to living outside a major city.
Alongside a wide GP audience base in city, metropolitan and regional communities, senior high school students would benefit from experiencing Euphoria and participating in workshops/post show Q&A.
There is scope to target groups and service providers supporting people living with mental illness and their carers. Health professionals and others working in mental health would also benefit from this experience. This would help raise awareness and reduce stigma.
- This regional tale takes us to the heart of rural Australia, however, the universal themes of connection, community and belonging ensure the world of the play and its characters have broad appeal.
- With incredibly sharp wit, compassion and authenticity, Euphoria shines a light on the joys and challenges of living in a country town. Two actors play key characters Meg and Ethan, alongside a multitude of other recognisable and often comic characters in this fictional town that is brought to life for a town meeting audiences will never forget!
- The statistics around mental illness and suicide are alarming and we are bombarded with information, campaigns and new initiatives to help tackle this epidemic, but is it all working? With the perfect balance of humour and compassion, Emily Steel takes an honest look at how we manage mental illness in our communities and what our responsibility is to each other.
- Euphoria has been developed over two years through a socially engaged arts practice taking the playwright into regional communities across SA. As a result of this process, themes reflect the authenticity of place and genuine experiences of people living in rural and remote areas.
- Following each performance there will be post show Q&A with the cast supported by a mental health professional who will be touring with the show. This platform will provide an opportunity for audiences to ‘unpick’ the work and in doing so; engage in conversation around the themes and issues it raises about mental health in country towns.
- A suite of workshops utilising the expertise and knowledge of the cast and the mental health professional will be available to schools and community groups. Workshops will be tailored to meet the needs of each group / school.
- Study guide available.
Proscenium Arch, Black Box, Flat Floor, Community Hall