Political Children

In 2014, the Abbott government committed a small amount of federal funding to an anti-bullying program known as Safe Schools. In 2016, the funding was scrapped, the program was investigated and a political storm brewed.

What sparked this?
Who will this effect?
And won’t somebody please think of the children?! 

‘Political Children’ is a provocative verbatim piece which enjoyed hugely successful seasons at Ashfield Council Chambers in December 2016 and ATYP as part of the Mardi Gras Festival in March 2017. Written and directed by Artistic Director Felicity Nicol in collaboration with the young cast, the play uses Hansard transcripts, newspaper articles and online content to examine debate around the Safe Schools program, exemplifying Spark’s mission to provide young people with a platform and mouthpiece for responding to issues that are most immediate to them.

“A deep exploration into the complex social aspects of sexual and gender diversity... [by] teenagers full of gumption” (Suzy Goes Sees)

Claim the Stage

‘Claim the Stage’ is Spark’s short play festival where young people from the community are mentored by industry professionals to write, direct and perform in their own new works.  

During the 3-month development period prior to touring the Inner West in June 2016, writer/dramaturg Melissa Lee Speyer and Artistic Director Felicity Nicol worked closely with participants to develop skills and encourage self-expression within a safe and supportive environment. This inspired confidence and provided a platform for the interests, concerns and talents of the young group to be seen and heard.

To Thine Own Self

‘To Thine Own Self’ was a multifaceted season of new works by emerging artists who have experienced mental illness. Presented in partnership with Fundability, Northcott, headspace Ashfield and the Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW in June 2016, mentors, mental healthcare workers and three young artists came together to explore how performance and mental health intersect.

Mentors - Melissa Lee Speyer, Alison Bennett and David Kirkpatrick

Project Facilitation and Concept - Felicity Nicol (Artistic Director)

Artists - Matty Dolman, Lap Nguyen and Zoe Tomaris

Punk Rock

A group of students at a posh high school are gearing up for their final exams and the pressure is on. They have to be the smartest, the funniest, the prettiest and the most athletic. Faced with an increasingly disinterested world, these seven teenagers are trying to find a way out of their small town and the small-minded people within it. With hormones raging and minimal adult supervision, nothing can hide the tension that’s bubbling ever closer to the surface.

Written by Simon Stephens and directed by Artistic Director Felicity Nicol with a cast of local young people, this 2015 Spark production gave audiences insight into the modern pressures of being a teenager.

“Felicity Nicol has directed a forceful and thought-provoking production.” (The Buzz from Sydney)