Author(s): Alana Valentine
The inmates of The Girls Training School, Parramatta had about as hard an upbringing as you can get in Australia. But theirs is also one of the great untold stories of making good in tough times. PARRAMATTA GIRLS: Based on the testimony of dozens of GTS old-girls and this vibrant play is a joyous and harrowing dramatisation of the experiences of eight inmates and their reunion forty years later. Interspersed with song and storytelling, this is a tribute to mischief and humour in the face of hardship and inequality (8 female). EYES TO THE FLOOR: Chronicles the experience of girls sent from Parramatta Girls Home to the Hay Girls Home for even more brutal, punitive treatment. Written to be played by young adults, this moving work emphasises the childlike vulnerability of the inmates in a world where they must find connection with each other in order to survive. Artfully woven with movement, chorus work and poetry, it is a compelling companion work to Parramatta Girls (4 male, 7 female).
Alana Valentine's writing has been awarded the 2004 Queensland Premier's Award for best Drama Script, 2003 NSW Writer's Fellowship, the 2002 Rodney Seaborn Playwrights' Award and an International Writing Fellowship at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London. She has also received a 2001 commendation for the Louis Esson Prize, a 1999 AWGIE Award, a residency at the Banff Playwrights' Conference in Canada, the ANPC/New Dramatists Award in NYC, a Churchill Fellowship for England and Ireland and a NSW Premier's Award.