The Scene Project | Bringing Acting to Schools | Queensland Theatre

The Scene Project is Queensland Theatre’s largest Education offering, encouraging drama students throughout the state to engage in the creative process of performance, from rehearsal through to presentation. Each year a playwright pens a new work and the participating drama groups are tasked with the challenge of creating their own unique 15 minute version of the play. During the rehearsal phase, Queensland Theatre artists visit the participating schools to facilitate workshops. The Scene Project is about collaboration, acknowledging students and teachers as artists, building confidence and encouraging live performance in a professional space and manner. It is also an excellent way of participating in professional development and enhancing existing curriculum in schools.

The project concludes with local schools coming together in a professional theatre venue to share their performance. On this day, a cast of professional Queensland Theatre actors also present a full interpretation of the play (under the same ‘minimalist’ parameters that schools have), providing young artists and their teachers with new ways of making and shaping texts that can be taken into their classrooms. The final stage of the project is a learning forum which allows for students to acknowledge the skill and artistry of their peers as well as engage in robust discussions around process and performance building.


The Wisdom Elixir by David Burton

A dark comedy about youth and revolution.

The near future, and we’ve cracked staying youthful. Thanks to a series of hormone injections, no one physically ages past their fifteen year old self. The mind and soul keep going, but our bodies are in stasis. Aging is ugly. Death is culturally shunned. We don’t like to examine our own frailty.

Thom is about to turn sixteen…and she’s skipped the hormones her entire life. Her parents protected her against all odds. In the opening moments of our play, her parents are assassinated for their crime, and Thom is forced into hiding. Furious at the state for making her an orphan, she takes to social media to vent her fury. She becomes a viral hero, and before she knows it, she’s the captain of a movement.

This is a piece about who has the right to a political voice. What happens when age no long automatically equals authority? Can teenagers really make a difference when the world is set against them?


Term 2 digital program

The Scene Project has shifted in Term 2 to a brand new digital offering to support Queensland’s drama classrooms as students start to learn from home. 

 The eight-week package includes weekly topics, video lectures, learning activities and projects. 

Week 1: Introduction to the text

  • Video lecture and introduction to the text from David Burton.
  • Video of a rehearsed read of the text.
  • Inquiry and Research Task for students to complete.


Week 2: Gaps and silences

  • Video lecture from Queensland Theatre teaching artist about finding gaps and silences in a text.
  • Sample annotated monologue to be provided as an example for students.
  • Learning activity based on scriptwriting and monologue development provided.


Week 3: Directorial vision

  • Video lecture from a Queensland Theatre teaching artist on directing and the process for creating a directorial vision – what makes for good drama, how do you find meaning and what is your process?
  • Directorial vision handout provided for students to support a directorial vision task.


Week 4: The devising process

  • Video lecture from a Queensland Theatre teaching artist on how you might approach devising your performance and building narrative.
  • Information about locating a throughline, storyboarding, highlighting key themes or characters and finding those ‘retina burn’ moments will be discussed.
  • Student handout to support the storyboarding of ideas provided.


Week 5: The chorus

  • Video lecture from a Queensland Theatre teaching artist on the role of the chorus in Wisdom and how they are used to drive tension and narrative.
  • Activities and handouts surrounding the role of the chorus in contemporary theatre provided to students.


Week 6: Character

  • Video lecture from a Queensland Theatre teaching artist on characterisation - analysing the character arc.
  • Sample videos of how actor’s might approach one monologue in different ways and what their acting process is.


Week 7: Using conventions in performance

  • Video lecture from a Queensland Theatre teaching artist that explores some of the key conventions found within Wisdom and what their impact on the text is.
  • Learning activity provided for students that encourages them to consider the use of one convention in the creation of a new dramatic concept.


Week 8: Performance technologies

  • Video lecture from Queensland Theatre creatives about the use of performance technologies (sound, lighting etc) in
  • performance and how they are used to enhance tension and drive narrative.
  • Student handout provided with images from past Queensland Theatre productions to analyse.

Artist in Residence workshops

In the event that your school will still be able to have an artist visit and facilitate a workshop during Term 2, please let us know and we can make arrangements for that to happen.


Outcome Day

Queensland Theatre is planning for different variables when it comes to the outcome day for the project including different modes of delivery based on your school’s capacity to engage (these include both live and recorded opportunities). More information will be provided in the coming weeks for schools to make individual decisions about how you would like to be involved.



Invoices this year will be flexible and based on the level of your school’s capacity to engage. They will be issued at the conclusion of the project (the total cost will not exceed the original cost of the project). If you have any concerns regarding payment please do not hesitate to get in touch.

The first level of engagement is detailed below.


Stage 1: Script delivery, Education resources and Term 2 online content (can be used at any stage of the project):



Stage 2: Artist-in-Residence workshop, optional only for those schools who can still have a visiting artist. Cost to be negotiated with Queensland Theatre.


Stage 3: Performance Outcome Day (live or recorded possibilities): Cost to be negotiated with Queensland Theatre.

For more information about The Scene Project, please contact:
Emma Funnell, Education Coordinator | Ph: (07) 3010 7623 |

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