THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER
Produced by Monkey Baa Theatre Company
From Sydney, Australia
With a tour timed to honor the centenary of WWI and America’s entry in 1917, this poignant new work explores themes of war, duty, courage and sacrifice. Using the lens of history, we discover the universal meaning/lessons and importance of The Unknown Soldier throughout the play and consider his significance for young audiences worldwide today.
The production tells two stories a century apart: the battlefields of WWI and the home front of modern day. 13 year old Charlie is coping with his father’s return from Afghanistan with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); and Charlie’s Aunt Angela is the peace activist trying to make sense of it all. Through the discovery of some old letters, Charlie and Angela piece together the stories of Albert, a 16 year old solider preparing “to go over the top” while fighting for King and Country, and Grace, a mother and volunteer nurse who is searching for her lost son. Through Albert and Grace’s letters, the historical war comes alive, and Charlie and Angela find new perspective on the lives of soldiers, nurses and the families back home.
Past Productions: Hitler's Daughter, I Am Jack
Best for Grades: 5th – 9th
Audience Size: Medium to Large Venues
Please contact us to watch the full length archival recording.
Past tours: I am Jack and Hitler’s Daughter
Monkey Baa Theatre Company is a dynamic, inspiring Theatre Company based in Sydney, Australia. Started in 1997 by actors Tim McGarry, Sandra Eldridge and Eva Di Cesare, Monkey Baa is one of Australia's largest touring companies with a reputation for creating exceptional theatre for young people and their families.
Central to the company's philosophy is the belief that young people's interests are valued and respected and that they are engaged in the performing arts through the telling of stories that entertain, inspire and encourage a greater understanding of the world and their place within it.
Monkey Baa has adapted, produced and toured 16 new major works since its inception. The company received the 2007 Helpmann Award for Best Children's Presentation (equivalent of the Tony Awards), the 2007 Drover for Touring Excellence and the 2006 Drover for Audience Development for Jackie French's Hitler's Daughter. In 2010 the Company won the Helpmann Award for Sonya Hartnett's Thursday's Child and the 2011 Glug Award for Fox. Five of the company's works have been published; Hitler's Daughter, Thursday's Child, Worry Warts, Pete the Sheep with The Unknown Soldier set for publication later in 2016.
As Australia’s widest reaching touring company, they have performed in just about every corner of the country across metropolitan, rural and remote Australia. Over 1.1 million young people aged 3-18 have engaged with the company over the last 15 years. In 2013 the company embarked on its first US tour, a ten week tour of award winning ‘Hitler’s Daughter’ and in 2014, the company toured I am Jack throughout the US. Monkey Baa toured I Am Jack throughout Northern America again in 2015.
Visit the company's website: http://www.monkeybaa.com.au/
Written by Monkey Baa Co-Creative Director, Sandra Eldridge.
Director: Matt Edgerton
Set and Costume Designer: Anna Gardiner
Lighting Designer: Matt Cox
Sound Designer: David Stalley
Dramaturge: Tim McGarry
Cast: Sandra Eldridge and Felix Johnson
Reviews from teachers and young people attending the performance
Reviews from Critics
Gallery of Past Productions
Language and Fine Arts: Dramatic Performance, Historical Fiction
History & Social Studies: WWI, World Geography
Emotional/Social Development: Mental Health & Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Compassion, Respect
Minimum Technical Requirements
Load In Time: 4 hours
Crew Needs: 4 multi tasking crew for 4 hours
Min. Stage Size: Stage dimensions 20ft Depth x 33ft Width, height: 13.15ft, minimum wing space: 5ft
Sound Needs: The Stage Manager operates sound. The operation position should be the standard sound position or at the rear of the auditorium. The production will use the in-house audio console and FOH PA.
Load Out Time: 2 hours x 2 crew
Outreach and Workshops
Post-show Talk Back with Cast (and/or with a Veteran)
The Cast will lead a Post-Show Talk Back/ Question and Answer session after each performance (approx 10-15 minutes) unless the Presenter requests otherwise in advance. The Talk Back is a very important part of the production experience.
Additionally, throughout the Australian performances, Presenters invited a recent veteran to attend each performance and take part in the post show talk back at the end of the performance. Author and Actor Sandra Eldridge facilitated these sessions.
If Presenters are wishing to invite a Veteran to a performance to partake in the post-show discussion, please tell the company in advance and note the following:
Brief the Veteran fully on the production and its content, particularly its references to PTSD.
Openly discuss with the proposed Veteran that young audience members may want to talk about PTSD and/or the veteran’s experience as a soldier.
If the Veteran decides to take part in the discussion ask him/her to prepare a brief 2 to 3 minute talk about their relevant/comparative experience as a veteran. This may serve as an inspiration for questions.
Please ask the Veteran to arrive at the performance 30 minutes prior to the commencement of the show. It is important they meet and are introduced to the cast, and Sandie will discuss the format for the post show discussion.
Sensory Friendly Performances:
This performance is available as a “sensory friendly” or “relaxed” performance if arranged with the company in advance and with specific direction as to what adjustments are necessary for your venue.