The Tree Widows

by Alana Valentine

As part of Ten Days on the Island in 2013, the Tasmanian Theatre Company proudly presents a new work in development by one of Australia’s most respected playwrights – a special opportunity to look inside the process of making a verbatim-inspired play with Alana Valentine.

Like silent sentinels 520 trees line an historic avenue in Hobart’s beautiful Queen’s Domain Park, each one poignantly linked to a fallen soldier; they also represent an ongoing legacy for the families left behind.

Alana Valentine, one of Australia’s highly creative and respected playwrights, is in the process of capturing the experience, the history, the moving and often witty personal stories of the families for whom these trees are a potent metaphor, a living set and an enduring testament.

Planted between 1918 and 1919, the Memorial Avenue has recently been restored and replanted by the families of the Tasmanian soldiers who lost their lives during World War I.

Alana’s narrative-style script is a work-in-progress for an on-site performance in 2015. It will be based on interviews with the local community, examining the timelessness, endurance and conflicting experience of – in particular – Tasmanian women and children, past and present, to the avenue.

In this work-in-progress, actors will perform excerpts from the script and share their ideas for the final performance with the audience.

Recently Alana won the STAGE International Script Competition for the best new play about science and technology for her entry Ear to the Edge of Time, chosen from nearly 200 entries world-wide.

The Tree Widows script was commissioned by Hobart City Council, Friends of Soldiers Memorial Avenue Inc. and Ten Days on the Island

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