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Written and Directed by Jenny de Reuck This e-book with its blend of classical fact and fiction offers drama teachers a lively script for young performers and audiences as well as set and costume designs, the lyrics and musical scores for the songs. Athena Emu has one ambition - to compete at the Athens Olympics. She and her friends have been training hard and their coach, Miss Severity, the Ferret, is optimistic …. But the road to Athens and sporting glory is anything but smooth! There's evil afoot in the Outback as a feral coach, Zorba the Fox, and his wicked side-kick, Aeschylus the Cat, try to sign up Athena and her friends in a sponsorship deal that will make them rich beyond their wildest dreams. Somewhere in all the hype the original intention of the Olympic Games seems to have been lost. Using the notion that "It's not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game" as a starting point, the play focuses on a group of young Australians (represented by some recognizable Australian animals) whose dreams of success are as yet uncorrupted by the harsh world of sponsorship, financial incentive and economic gain. They become the objects of a wager between the Olympians (represented by Zeus and his wife, Hera). The plot evolves from Zeus's despair at the prospect of anyone in the 21st century recalling the true nature of the games (first played in 776BC) and which were originally conceived as a tribute by humanity to him. Hera, unwilling to believe that the spirit of the earlier games is entirely lost, sends Hermes, their messenger (represented by a galah) to find "someone who remembers what the games are really about" and he becomes the mediator between the mortals and the immortals of the play.
Jenny de Reuck is an Associate Professor in the Theatre and Drama Programme at Murdoch University in Western Australia. She writes and directs original plays for children that are performed annually in Nexus Theatre on campus and have been produced as far afield as Chile, Malaysia and Singapore. Her research and practice include the diverse fields of Theatre in Education and Shakespearean adaptations but her primary objective is to offer her students and their audiences a provocative - as well as entertaining - theatrical experience.
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