The absurdist performance style is what drives the play to exploring the themehuman nature and coping, which is what in society calls, the 7 stages of grieving.Cameron goes further with the concept in the manor of staging, which is timelessand antique props evoking “dust covered memories”. The Mise en scene ismainly gothic, displayed through the elements of design such as use of lightingin Scene one, the solitary light on ray, the use of sound in Ruby’s spine chillingvoice over in the prologue and the change of costuming by actors on stage. Allthese factors add to creating the atmosphere as “placeless” and abstract,allowing the notion of transformational acting to occur, which characterisation iskey to portray multiple characters and thus, individual perspectives thatsymbolise types of people in society that might give evidence to find missingpersons, Veronica the insecure sleaze, Dawn the suicidal teenager, Dulcie thesenile woman, Sonny Jim the stereotypical gun nut, etc. Cameron tries tosymbolise the diverse community in which could be your neighbours as well asthe incompetence of people, unwilling to tell the ultimate truth. Stolen identifies an issue very close to the Australian publics hearts, the StolenGeneration of Aboriginal children from their parents. The play offers personal andindividual insight into the experiences of the stolen Generation. The themes ofprejudice, racism, equality and cultural belonging are universally understood byinternal and international peoples which is why the play is so emotionallyprovoking. Stolen uses 5 central characters to represent 5 different individualperspectives about the issue, Anne representing the children adopted into whitefamilies, Sandy represents the Stolen children who were/are effected by crime,Shirley represents the parents who lost their children, Ruby represents thevictims of physical and mental abuse and Jimmy who represents the non-conforming. All five characters express their stories through the theatricalconventions of a non-liner structure, almost montage, symbolising thecontinuous cycle of pain, memories and struggle, Harrision adopting a stylesimilar to that of traditional oral indigenous storytelling. Actors also play multipleroles, utilising the technique of transformational acting as the actors also switchbetween their adult selves and younger selves, as well as authority figures like a
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matron and even Jimmy’s mother. Characters address the audience throughoutthe play, breaking the fourth wall, “suppose you want a happy ending from me”,trying to make the audience feel like they are a part of the issue and thereforeinvolve themselves in understanding. Drawing from epic theatre, Harrison usesthe international performance style and moulds it into an issue that an Australianaudience can appreciate.The dramatic technique of chorus in dialogue is a fundamental symbol usedthroughout the play to express the innocence of the stolen children and thenironically their removal of innocence, “can you keep a secret and promise not totell” and “what did he do to you”, using a child like tone of pure innocence toconvey an eerie rendition of a child’s game with adult connotations. Chorus andvoice over’s are also used to symbolise the authority figures who were largely to
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