To re-launch Not in Print, we spoke with Finegan Kruckemeyer about magical worlds where monsters are friends and lighthouses are boats, and on the richness and dynamism of theatre for children and young people.
Finegan has had 94 commissioned plays performed on six continents and translated into eight languages. His work has enjoyed seasons in more than 200 international festivals and in 2018, he was the most-produced playwright of original children’s theatre in the US.
He and his work have received 36 awards, including the Mickey Miners Lifetime Achievement Award for international Theatre for Young Audiences, David Williamson Prize for Excellence in Australian Playwrighting, seven Australian Writers' Guild Awards and an inaugural Sidney Myer Fellowship. Finegan has spoken at conferences in ten countries, with papers published and works studied at international universities.
Finegan was born in Ireland and moved halfway around the world to Adelaide, Australia, aged eight. After 15 years, he and his wife Essie left for the island state of Tasmania. And after 15 more, with their son Moe, they returned.
Finegan is committed to making strong and respectful work for children, which acknowledges them as astute audience members outside the plays, and worthy subjects within.
See more of Finegan's work at finegankruckemeyer.com
Currency Press has published four titles by Finegan, including one play collection; For We the Young, At Sea, Staring up, The Grumpiest Boy in the World and The Violent Outburst that Drew Me To You. Available at currency.com.au/books-tag/finegan-kruckemeyer/
Each night two hoods ride a train to a wrecking yard on the outskirts of the city. Here, in this cemetery of stories, they are storytellers with the power to fast forward, pause and rewind. Tonight they tell the story of three kids left in a car. Exploring issues of poverty and family violence, Hoods is a suburban tale of survival and solidarity against the odds.
Angela Betzien is a multi-award winning writer and a founding member of independent theatre company Real TV; her work has toured widely across Australia and internationally. She is currently the Patrick White Fellow at Sydney Theatre Company and developing new plays for them, as well as Melbourne Theatre Company and Belvoir.
Angela’s play Children of the Black Skirt toured Australian schools for three years and won the 2005 Drama Victoria Award for Best Performance by a Theatre Company for Secondary Schools. Another work, War Crimes, won the 2012 Kit Denton Fellowship and the QLD Literary Award for Playwriting; it was also nominated for a NSW Premier’s Literary Award in 2012.
Tomas, 12, finds himself trapped in a war torn city, separated from his family. He takes refuge in a derelict house with Anna, 16. Every night she tells him folk stories to distract them from the sound of bombs outside, mingling the magic and earthy wisdom of folk tales with the hard-edged story of violence, conflict and the struggle to survive.
Debra Oswald announced to her parents that she was going to be a playwright at twelve years old and she has been sharing stories ever since. Her broad body of work has been seen on screens large and small, watched in darkened theatres across the world, and read by too many people to count. She had early success with her play Dags and continued on with acclaimed works such as The Peach Season, Gary's House, Skate and House on Fire. She was also the creator and head writer for the smash hit television series, Offspring on Channel Ten.