A scene from the play ‘Student Body', performed by BOObook Theatre
Image: BOObook Theatre
Source: BOObook Theatre
A couple of weeks ago I went to see ‘Student Body', a play about the lives of international students in Melbourne which was performed at the Union House Theatre at the University of Melbourne.
Inspired by interviews from International students and their service providers in Melbourne and Sydney in 2007, playwright Alana Valentine explores the experiences of four students in Melbourne: Chai from China, Aditya from India, Fon from Thailand, and Song Ye from Malaysia. Academic journeys are paralleled by life’s lessons on love and relationships. Racism, prejudice and the controversy surrounding attacks on international students in Melbourne during 2008 are also confronted with brutal consequences.
The play is an honest portrayal of what it feels like to be exploited by the education system and confused by university bureaucracy as well as verbally and physically vilified for coming from somewhere else. Valentine uses the mythology of Chinese dragons to examine the hopes and dreams of the students, enabling each of them to explore and defeat their fears.
The play was presented by BOObook Theatre and starred Keith Brockett, Sheena Reyes, Ash Kakkar, Rachel Fong and Kelly Ryan.