Riverside Theatres Presents
By Samah Sabawi
Directed by Bagryana Popov
Lara Week, La Mama, & Critical Stages Touring
“Perhaps the most important piece of theatre you will see this year.” ★★★★★, The Music
From multiple-award winning playwright Samah Sabawi comes THEM — a compelling tale of survival, friendship, and the things we are willing to do to protect the ones we love.
THEM tells the story of one young family as they face the decision whether to flee their war-torn city. Omar, Leila and their young child are counting down the days. Their friends enjoy fantasies of escape and the arrival of Omar’s sister brings a real chance to get out – but at what cost?
Developed in consultation with people living in conflict zones and displaced by war, the play was first supported by Melbourne Theatre Company’s Cybec Electric program before enjoying a sell-out extended season at the famed La Mama Theatre.
With unexpected tenderness, laughter, and song, THEM takes audiences into extraordinary circumstances to reveal our shared humanity in the ordinary moments that shape our lives.
“A drama dappled with humanity and humour amid the horrors of war […] The inextinguishable spirit of laughter, of the music of life in the face of desolation, is crucial to both the play’s poignancy and appeal.” ★★★★, Sydney Morning Herald
This production contains themes of war which may effect those with experience of conflict. Patrons are advised the work contains adult themes, moderate language, and sudden loud special effects. Suitable for ages 14+
Riverside Theatres is a registered COVID Safe venue with the NSW Government. The health and safety of all Riverside patrons and staff is at the forefront of all our operations. Our policies are consistently reviewed and will be updated in line with NSW Health guidelines and advice. Please review our Conditions of Entry & Patron Safety page prior to attending Riverside Theatres for the most up-to-date information.
If you have any questions and would like to discuss this with a member of our team, please contact our Box Office staff on 02 8839 3399 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Originally produced by Lara Week and Samah Sabawi, in collaboration with La Mama Theatre. THEM is supported by La Trobe University, the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund – an Australian Government initiative, and the Australia Council for the Arts, the arts funding and advisory body of the Australian Government.
Written by Samah Sabawi
Directed by Bagryana Popov
Producer, Set and Costume Design: Lara Week
Lighting Design: Shane Grant
Sound Design: Elissa Goodrich
Prop Maker: Lara Chamas
Production and Stage Manager: Hayley Fox
Touring Production Manager: Shane Grant
Cast: Taj Aldeeb, Claudia Greenstone, Abdulrahman Hammoud, Sahil Saluja, Meena Shamaly, Mehran Tajbakhsh
“A drama dappled with humanity and humour amid the horrors of war […] The inextinguishable spirit of laughter, of the music of life in the face of desolation, is crucial to both the play’s poignancy and appeal.” 4 STARS Sydney Morning Herald
“There is no amount of praise that is sufficient to heap on Samah Sabawi’s writing and Bagryana Popov’s directing […] Perhaps the most important piece of theatre you will see this year.” 5 STARS The Music
“A play with heart that compels us to sit up and listen, suspend prejudices and feel the anguish of these characters fighting to survive in a city shattered by senseless war.” Herald Sun
“A bold embrace of everyday people in the moments before they are displaced by war… its sensitive portrayal of home highlights the importance of familiarity, safety and stability – and how war disrupts it – and beckons further empathy for the millions affected by war and mass human migration.” ArtsHub
“It’s simply phenomenal work. It is important. People need to be seeing this play.” Theatre Travels
“THEM is a powerful reminder that when it comes to humanity, there is no them but only an us.” Melbourne Arts Review
Winner of the Independent Theatre Award for Best Writing, Green Room Awards
Nominee for Best Ensemble, Best Direction, and Best Production, Green Room Awards
Shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award 2020 (Drama)
Shortlisted for the Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting, NSW Premier’s Literary Award
Selected for the VCE Theatre Studies Playlist 2021
“Them is a searing and sharply-edged work about the horrors of war, and the ways in which it can corrupt or enhance a person’s humanity. With great skill, Sabawi sketches a family in crisis and a nation in tatters; unnamed and stripped of cultural identifiers, this is a world that exists beyond the clichés of political discourse. The playwright brilliantly uses humour and surprise to augment the growing sense of disquiet, in a nod to Kafka and Beckett, but what shines most clearly is a deep compassion and a powerfully articulated despair.”
Victorian Premier’s Literary Award Judges’ Report
SUITABLE FOR YEARS 10 – 12
(Stages 5 – 6)
Curriculum Links and Resources
Download the Curriculum Links here: Them Curriculum Links
1 teacher free for every 20 students booked.
For further information and to book please contact our Education Booking Coordinator on 8839 3308 or email email@example.com, or fill in our Schools Bookings Form here.
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