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To leave or not to leave : rural youth gain a voice through theatre
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Howard CassidyHoward Cassidy, Vivienne WattsVivienne Watts
This paper focuses on the marginalised nature of young people residing in rural communities and their lack of inclusion in dramatic literature. In the so-called multicultural. hihgly-urbanised Australian society, the problems and dilemmas facing rural young people should be acknowledged and valued, but their voice is missing. Using a methodology adapted from our earlier project on secondary school bullying, a play was developed to fill this gap. The play was founded on the assumption that it needed to relate to the 'lived experience' of the target audience if it was to be perceived by them as a credible, relevant and life-changing event. Therefore, in addition to a literature search, interviews and focus groups were conducted with a group of Year 11 students from a rural community prior to and during the writing of the play. From the findings of this research, playwright Robert Kronk, director Howard Cassidy and a team of Performing Arts students from the Central Queensland University developed "Snagged", a play about life for young people in rural communities. This paper describes the development process and the results of its eveluation.