seven stages of grieving

State Theatre Company Of South Australia, Education Program
Director: Rosalba Clemente
Writer: Wesley Enoch

The 7 Stages of Grieving is a contemporary Indigenous performance text, performed by one woman. The play is a series of theatrical episodes that follow the journey of an Aboriginal 'Everywoman' as she tells poignant and humorous stories of grief and reconciliation.

There were many challenges presented with this simple yet hugely complex piece.The set had to tour to South Australian venues and Queensland Theatre Company as part of the education program and there were many requirements (dirt and projection) that would present difficulty.

We created a small stage made of old floor boards with a series of gaps to access the dirt underneath the floor . The dirt toured in its own container, and the stage was constructed into segmented units, whilst the the projector sat on floor in venue with a screen framing the stage.


Rosalba and I worked very closely to identify the amount of space the performer would need by walking out the space together first and to develop conceptual meaning and create very strong visual images which would speak to the audience on a subconscious level.


Some 16 years ago, Deborah Mailman and Wesley Enoch co-wrote this spell-binding monologue for an indigenous female actor and it became the launch pad for Mailman’s career. I will never forget the great block of ice suspended above her, gradually melting through its ropes and providing a metaphor for restlessness weeping.
This new design by Morag Cook takes a different tack but one that is just as effective evoking the sackcloth and ashes of morning.
In the foreground, a wooden circle holds a grave sized cut out filled with red dust. The backdrop is a sacking screen against which are projected the faces of beautiful black children or humiliated men in chains.
Courier Mail
July 27
Sue Gough

story boarding