VDL Awards Entries 2022

Hypnosis

Peridot Theatre Inc
27 Jan 2022 - 12 Feb 2022

A mesmerizing thriller with plenty of twists and a liberal dash of comedy.
The Great Gordo, an alcoholic stage hypnotist in the twilight of his career, randomly chooses Alan Briggs as his next stooge. Briggs, a mild-mannered policeman, is a good sport, the audience laughs, and
everyone goes home. For Gordo, it’s just the end of another show, and time for a drink or three before bed. But someone out there has other ideas. Extraordinary ideas. The mind games begin, the stakes are raised, and we sense there can only be one winner. But who?

Agent: By arrangement with Origin Theatrical on behalf of Samuel French. A Concord Theatrical Company.

Author: David Tristram

Director: Pip Le Blond

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12 Angry Men

Windmill Theatre Company
9 Feb 2022 - 12 Feb 2022

Following the closing arguments in a murder trial, the 12 members of the jury must deliberate, with a guilty verdict meaning death for the accused, an inner-city teen. As the dozen jurors try to reach a unanimous decision while sequestered in a room, one juror casts considerable doubt on elements of the case. Personal issues soon rise to the surface, and conflict threatens to derail the delicate process that will decide one boy’s fate.

Agent: By Arrangement with Origin Theatrical on behalf of Samuel French a Concord Theatricals Company

Author: Reginald Rose

Director: Ben Dowthwaite

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The Merchant of Venice

Strathmore Theatrical Arts Group Inc.
10 Feb 2022 - 26 Feb 2022

Antonio, a prosperous merchant of Venice in the sixteenth century, is approached by his old friend Bassanio for a loan. Bassanio wishes to present himself in style and travel to Belmont, in order to woo Portia, a young and beautiful heiress. Antonio’s fortune is currently tied up in his trading ships, and he does not have the required funds in hand. However, he agrees to act as guarantor, if Bassanio can borrow the money elsewhere. Bassanio approaches Shylock, a Jewish moneylender. Shylock hates Antonio, who has always treated him with contempt because he is Jewish, and because he charges interest on money that he lends. However, Shylock agrees to loan Bassanio 3000 ducats, to be repaid in three months. Pretending that it is a mere jest, he specifies that the penalty for failure to pay on time will be a pound of Antonio’s flesh, cut from his breast. Confident that his ships will return to Venice in good time so that the debt can be repaid, Antonio accepts this condition for the bond.

Shylock’s daughter Jessica elopes with Lorenzo, fleeing her father’s house with much of her father’s money, with the intention of becoming a Christian. Shylock is furious at the loss of both his daughter and his ducats.

Under the terms of her late father’s will, no suitor may marry Portia unless they choose correctly between three caskets, made respectively of gold, silver and lead. Portia complains to Nerissa, her maid and confidant, about her lack of freedom to make her own choice of husband. Unsuccessful suitors choose wrongly, and go disappointed away. Bassanio, with his young friend Gratiano, sails to Belmont, where Bassanio chooses the correct casket, to Portia’s delight. Portia and Bassanio prepare to marry, as do Nerissa and Gratiano.

News comes to Belmont that Antonio’s ships have been unexpectedly delayed; he cannot repay the loan on time, and Shylock will demand his pound of flesh at the Duke of Venice’s court. Portia and Nerissa disguise themselves as men – a learned lawyer and her clerk – and travel to Venice, where Portia uses brilliant legal argument to confound Shylock’s malicious intentions, and save Antonio’s life.

After the trial Portia and Nerissa, still disguised, will accept no payment, but each asks only for a ring which she has given her husband, who has sworn never to part with it. Bassanio and Gratiano very reluctantly give the lawyer and clerk these precious rings. Portia and Nerissa later have fun upbraiding their husbands for giving away the rings, before the deception is revealed and all ends happily.

Author: William Shakespeare

Director: Roderick Chappel

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Love Song

The Mount Players
18 Feb 2022 - 6 Mar 2022

Beane is an exile from life – an oddball. His well-meaning sister Joan and brother-in-law Harry try to make time for him in their busy lives, but no one can get through. Following a burglary on his apartment, Joan is baffled to find her brother blissfully happy, and tries to unravel the story behind Beane’s mysterious new love Molly. Funny, enchanting and wonderfully touching, John Kolvenbach’s offbeat comedy is a rhapsody to the power of love in all its forms.

Author: John Kolvenbach

Director: Travis Handcock

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Photograph 51

The Basin Theatre Group Inc.
24 Feb 2022 - 6 Mar 2022

Anna Ziegler’s “Photograph 51” takes us back to 1950s London, where the discovery of the DNA double helix structure would unlock the “secret of life”, and Rosalind Franklin’s contribution would be overlooked for decades. This delicate play puts her back in the picture and shines a light on the challenges she faced as a woman in a male-dominated field and the price she paid.

“Photograph 51” opened in the West End of London in September 2015, with Nicole Kidman in the role of Rosalind Franklin. Nicole’s portrayal won the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actress in 2015 and the WhatsOnStage Award for Best Actress in a Play in 2016. “Photograph 51” won the WhatsOnStage Award for Best New Play in 2016.

This play won the third STAGE International Script Competition in 2008.

The title comes from Photo 51, the nickname given to an X-ray diffraction image taken by Raymond Gosling in May, 1952, under the supervision of Rosalind Franklin.

Beyond the story, however, “Photograph 51” reminds us of the shared intentions of art and science. Both seek to improve our understanding of the world around us, to make sense of life, test ideas and see things from another perspective. The results of these discoveries have the possibility to permanently alter our understanding of the world while continuing to feed our curiosity and pursuit of knowledge.

Agent: Music Theatre International (Australasia) on behalf of Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

Author: Anna Ziegler

Director: Sharon Maine

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Tribes

The Hartwell Players Inc.
16 Mar 2022 - 2 Apr 2022

Tribes is the story of Billy, the only deaf member of a loving yet comically dysfunctional British-Jewish family living in London. Along with Daniel, his depressive older brother and Ruth, his cosmically adrift older sister, Billy lives with his parents, Christopher and Beth, in their cluttered and yet comfortingly worn-in home. None of the family’s (Generation Y) children seem to be certain of the next step: Daniel attempts to write his thesis, Ruth half-heartedly tries to procure opera gigs, and Billy makes frustrating attempts to reintegrate himself into family life after having been away at University. Billy’s world is opened up, however, when he encounter’s Sylvia, a young woman who has grown up as the only hearing member of a deaf family. He quickly realizes how sheltered from the deaf world he has been by his family, and how, in their attempts to avoid making him feel like an “other,” they have actually made it impossible for him to take pride in his deafness. Much to his father’s chagrin, Sylvia begins teaching Billy sign language and introducing him to the deaf community. As he grapples with his own identity, we, too, are forced to ask questions about the meaning of belonging, community, and family.

Author: Nina Raines

Director: Paul Wanis

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Rumors

Essendon Theatre Co.
18 Mar 2022 - 25 Mar 2022

Four couples are at the townhouse of a deputy New York City mayor and his wife to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary. The party never begins because the host has shot himself in the head and his wife is missing. His lawyer’s cover-up gets progressively more difficult to sustain as the other guests arrive and nobody can remember who has been told what about whom. Doors slam and hilarity abounds as the couples get more and more crazed. ‘Rumors’ was Neil Simon’s first farce.

Agent: Origin Theatrical on Behalf of Samuel French

Author: Neil Simon

Director: Dawn Hinrichsen

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The Long Road

Eltham Little Theatre Inc.
18 Mar 2022 - 26 Mar 2022

When eighteen-year-old Danny is fatally stabbed in a random attack his family struggles to find meaning and forgiveness. His mother’s determination to understand the atrocity brings her face to face with his killer and forces the family to confront the bitter senselessness of their loss. The play evolved out of a period of research with prisoners by Synergy Theatre Project, in collaboration with The Forgiveness Project and award-winning playwright Shelagh Stephenson.

Agent: Origin Theatrical

Author: Shelagh Stephenson

Director: George Benca

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My Brilliant Career

Skin Of Our Teeth Productions
18 Mar 2022 - 27 Mar 2022

This is the tale of Sybylla Melvyn and her search for independence and freedom in a time of change. Adapted from Stella Miles Franklin’s timeless novel, this is a story of love, life, language and landscape.

Agent: Christine Davey

Author: Christine Davey

Director: Christine Davey

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Blithe Spirit

Frankston Theatre Group Inc.
25 Mar 2022 - 3 Apr 2022

ovelist, Charles Condomine and his wife, Ruth, invite their friends Dr. and Mrs. Bradman to join them for drinks and dinner with a local clairvoyant, Madame Arcati.

Charles is planning a novel about a homicidal spiritualist and wants to observe the behavior of Madame Arcati during a séance after dinner. The four friends discuss Madame Arcati, sure that she will be a harmless fraud. They are interrupted when Madame Arcati arrives, dinner is served, and the séance begins.

Agent: Origin on behalf of Samuel French ltd

Author: Noel Coward

Director: Lachlan Casey-Roleff

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