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Regular news and insight from our many poets, writers, educators and facilitators

08 October 2022

Posted by Beth McKeeman

Stories of the Dust and Character Questions

Juniors - 10 Young - 14

Our Junior Writers were lucky enough to be offered tickets to see the premiere performance of Stories of the Dust. This two-hander 45 minute play was part of the Homegrown Festival celebrating local talent - what a way to inspire our fledgling writers!

We watched as two travellers journeyed across a barren and dusty world with no water and dwindling food supplies. They make up songs and tell stories inspired by the treasures they find as they look for what’s just around the corner.

Our Junior Writers commented on how much hope there was in the story, despite the circumstances. We also really enjoyed the use of the shopping trolley as the set piece where they stored all their treasures and how they embodied the characters and used their bodies to create emphasis, action and sound.

The characters, in this environmental apocalyptic world, treasured items that many of us in our contemporary world would view as rubbish, such as empty yogurt pots, repurposed to collect precious rain. Before going in, we thought about what treasure means to us. We said special, family, heart, gifts, pirates, hide and seek, mystery and secrets, cate, shiny, gigantic golden coin and kind. What do you treasure?

In Young Writers, we made our own characters. We started by filling in a factsheet of their outward characteristics such as height, age, eye colour, hair style. Then we interrogated these characters with twenty questions, getting to know them on a deeper level. With this newly created knowledge, we wrote letters from our characters to people they knew. Why don’t you have a go at answering the questions below as a character?

Who is your immediate family?
What is your job? Do you like it?
Is the glass half empty or half full?
What is your favourite food, movie, song, colour?
How do you live? (are you neat, messy, artistic?)
What do you want more than anything?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
What is your biggest pet peeve?
What is your biggest secret?
What is your favourite memory?
If the world were going to explore and you could only bring one person with you on the escape pod, who would it be and why?
A hurricane is coming and you have time ti grab one object from your home before you evacuate. What is it and why is it so important?
What’s one hobbit you can’t seem to kick?
What is the worst thing that’s happened to you?
From your perspective what is your biggest flaw?
What do other people say your biggest flaw is? How do you feel about that?
What do you do better than everyone else?
What does everyone seem to do better than you?
Describe your perfect day.

Issy's character letter

Yusif's character letter

Indie's character letter

Mihika's character letter

Rowan's character letter

Sofija's character letter

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