On September 8, Donna Abela, an award-winning Australian playwright, educator and human rights activist, gave a presentation in Dr. Mike Amey’s Honors English (ENG) 111 course at the Alexandria Campus. The presentation was sponsored by the NOVA Honors Program.
Abela’s prolific output has included over 30 stage plays as well as radio dramas that have been produced by Eastside Radio and Australian Broadcasting Corporation. These plays encompass a wide range of performance styles and genres and tackle complex issues and themes including feminism, environmentalism, cross-cultural narratives and the experiences of refugees.
Twenty students and two instructors were in attendance. As part of her presentation, Abela handed out the script to her award-winning play “Spirit” and played a recording of the radio adaptation of the play. She then used that play as a springboard for a conversation about her craft and the process she uses to write her plays. Near the end of the class Abela led the students in a writing activity that helps writers generate ideas.