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Word Count: 912
The theatrical styles and conventions used in particular Australian plays reflect significant issues in Australian society in which they were created In the two plays Garys House and The Seven Stages of Grieving Seven Stages the playwrights have used certain devices and forms such as symbolism and ritual multi-media sound and The plays explore family values depression and survival in the modern Australian society Seven Stages composed by Wesley Enoch and Deborah Mailmen started back in 1993 The Seven Stages takes us on a journey with an optimistic ending It also invests Aboriginal history with appropriate emotional connections and responses The whole sense of the grief and the family the gathering of a community and the passing on of an elder The play was and is particularly appealing to a diverse audience for its unique structure consisting of short scenes combined in a collage form The play has a journey essence as the sole actor performs a series of monologues to reveal history of Aboriginal People from genocide to reconciliation In the opening scenes of Seven Stages the play begins off with an enormous block of ice dripping on to a grave providing both sound of tears dropping and a symbol of cold heartedness melting In scene 3 the burning of eucalyptus leaves smoke as Mailmen asks permission to speak of the dead in order to express her grief Their photographs are projected behind her as she tells her story The conventions of symbols and rituals help create the style of storytelling in which raises the issues of dispossession and loss of land language and children which connect with the stories of family members The emotional impact comes as often from what is not said as what is spoken The silences in Scenes 1 and 2 create potent meanings This is not a simple society but one of injustices A complex invitation to experience something of the depth of Aboriginal grieving The
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