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PUBLISHED: 26 / February 2024

GIRLS LIKE THAT Showcasing Hunter Drama Talent

three schoolgirls listening to headphones

Girls Like That, the forthcoming Very Popular Theatre Company production, hits the Civic Playhouse from 10 – 14 April, and is an exploration of feminism and coming-of-age in a digital world, starring a chorus of six young women, several of whom are Hunter Drama alumni, students and staff.

Girls Like That offers a glimpse into the lives and minds of teenage girls in this viciously funny, flinty, and sparkly staging of Evan Placey’s eye-opening, often uncomfortably honest play.

When a naked photograph of Scarlett goes viral, she becomes the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons. Battle lines are drawn, girl against girl. But while rumours run wild and everyone forms an opinion, Scarlett just stays silent…

When Placey wrote the play he was exploring technology and the impact it would have on bullying. His writing led him to wonder about feminism in the younger generation.

“I was interested in exploring the question of whether young women were starting to oppress each other in the same ways men oppress women. It wasn’t just that girls were bullying other girls, it’s that they were using the same tools that men had invented to oppress women,” said Placey.

Grounded in reality, the play poses an urgent question: how did the generations of women who fought for the vote, equality of opportunity, rights in the workplace and for control over their own bodies give birth to daughters who are so insecure, judgmental and unsisterly? Is this what feminism is now?

Daniel Stoddart and Bella Sykes direct a cast of the region’s most outstanding young actors, including Anaiya Mahony, Evelyn Parkes, Nyah Lee, Ruby Page, Sienna Randall, and Symphony Riley.

  • Assistant Director Bella Sykes is a Hunter Drama Actor’s Company alumni and this is her directorial debut and first professional production.
  • Actress Anaiya Mahony studied a Pre-Diploma of Musical Theatre at Hunter Drama before graduating from the prestigious Talent Development Project in Sydney in 2023. She is a CONDA award winner and is making her debut with Very Popular Theatre Company.
  • Evelyn Parkes studied at Hunter Drama for eight years, was a member of the Hunter Drama Actor’s Company before taking up a position on staff as a tutor and this is also her debut with Very Popular Theatre. Evelyn is currently enrolled in the Pre-Diploma of Musical Theatre at Hunter Drama.
  • Another member of the Hunter Drama Actor’s Company who is making her professional debut with Very Popular Theatre is Nyah Le who also received a Hunter Drama Young Actor’s Scholarship in 2022 and is a CONDA and JTF Allstar award winner.
  • Completing the ensemble are Ruby Page, Sienna Randall and Symphony Riley who are all award winning actresses making their professional debut with Very Popular Theatre Company.

Director Daniel Stoddart is thrilled to be part of the professional development of these young actresses as they take over the stage in such an important piece.

“Many of the ensemble developed their skills at Hunter Drama over years of study,” said Daniel. “Seeing them perform in a professional production, showcasing their incredible talent in what is a powerful and timely theatrical piece is deeply satisfying. It will be an extraordinary production that teenagers, parents and teachers should all attend – a wonderful way to open those difficult conversations about growing up in today’s society.”

Named Best Play for Young Audiences at the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards 2015.

Content warning Strong language, adult themes, sexual references, theatrical haze. Recommended for ages 14+

​Tickets are on sale at https://civictheatrenewcastle.com.au/what-s-on/all-shows/girls-like-that with under 30s tickets just $20 while tickets last.