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Zeal Theatre Zeal Theatre i(A99582 works by) (Organisation) assertion
Born: Established: 1989 ;
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Zeal Theatre is an Australian-based touring theatre troupe which creates original productions for theatres, schools, universities and festivals. The company was founded in 1988 by Stefo Nantsou (q.v.) and produced its first play, 'The Scam', for schools in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales the following year. Since then it has staged more than 35 plays, with over half of these focusing on contemporary teenage issues. The multi-skilled ensemble undertakes extensive research into each production and often devises its works through a collective workshop process, creating an eclectic mix of musical and theatrical styles. The company has based itself in Melbourne since 1996, touring both nationally and internationally.

Zeal Theatre's highlight productions include : 'Hit Hard' (1991), the first of the company's shows to tour widely around New South Wales ; 'Debts' (1991), a musical set on a Monopoly board and the first Zeal show to be given a season at the Adelaide Fringe Festival ; 'Joyride' (1992), a collaboration between the company, police and street kids that has resulted in more than 600 performances ; 'Tatau : Rites of Passage' (1996), a co-production with New Zealand's Pacific Underground ; and 'The Stones' (1996), which has been performed more than 900 times in 20 countries.

Since 1989 the company has received 5 Newcastle CONDA Awards ; a NSW Frater Award (1997) ; the Don Mackay Award (Victorian Arts Council, 1998) ; the 2002 TheatreHaus Best New Work Award (for the Frankfurt production of 'The Stones') ; a 2003 Critics Choice Award (for the Budapest production of 'Kovek') ; and the International ASSITEJ Honorary President's Award for 'outstanding services to theatre for young people' (Montreal, 2005).

In 2009, Zeal beacme an Associate Company of the Sydney Theatre Company.

Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

The Forwards 2004 single work drama young adult
— Appears in: The Forwards [and] The Apology 2009; (p. 9-52)

Devised by Stefo Nantsou through a series of creative workshops with students from Victorian regional high schools, The Forwards combines comedy, drama and percussive energy as a means of exploring football culture, alcohol abuse, reckless behaviour in small rural communities and the role parents play in shaping the attitudes of their children.

The story concerns the Pintoon Parrots football team, which makes it to the Grand Final for the first time in the small town's history. Up against arch rivals the Gilpendry Goannas, the team knows that the game will be a hard-fought battle, and that their hopes rest on the forward trio, Hoges, Tractor and Gary Rabbit. However, as the big game approaches a rumour spreads throughout the town and subsequently brings the three 'friends for life' into major conflict. Fuelled with anger, jealousy and alcohol, violence explodes both on and off the field resulting in a shocking climax.

2017 winner Matilda Awards Best Independent Production

(2017 Brisbane Powerhouse production)

Last amended 13 Jan 2009 12:20:43
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