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Reflection for Lesson

A theme that reoccurs through the individual and collective stories of the
archetypal characters in Jane Harrisons, Stolen is their feelings of loneliness,
dejection and yearning for home as a result of Aboriginal children being
forcibly removed from their families.
To explore these themes in groups we workshopped the scene your mums
dead where Jimmy appears on stage with a voice-over of his mother's letter
being read. They are obviously not read in his 'world'. We experimented with
the dramatic conventions and techniques of voice-overs, off stage voices
and multimedia projections. Through our workshopping of this scene we
explored the variations of vocal tone between the mother reading the letter
off stage and the matrons voice through the voice-over. An example from the
playwright that suggest this contrast between Jimmys mother and the Matron
is when the voices of authority states Quiet! and your mothers not
coming shes dead in comparison to the letter being read to Jimmy by his
mother through off stage voices but I found some red wool to knit you a
pair of warm socks this exemplifies the contrast between the mothers home
and the spirit beaten out of Jimmy through his experience of being
institutionalised.
The notion of home is a reoccuring theme in Stolen. Each character speaks
about their home and their desire to be back in their home. Australians for
many years believed that a policy of assimilation was a correct one. The play
was written at a crucial time in Australian History when the bringing them
home report, 1997, brought to light the extent of the damage of forced
removal of indigenous children form their families. Through experimenting

with images of letters written by Jimmys mother being projected on the his
face, as an audience member I was able to recognise how Harrisons
incorporation of such contemporary techniques act as a reflection of Jimmys
past, his desire to be home aswell as a symbol of hope.

To further enhance the notion of home Harrison has incorporated the use of
props. Props are an integral part of Stolen and used as metaphors throughout
the play.
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Stolen aims to highlight the disconnection from society that the children
experience. To explore the play theoretically we read an extract from Is that
you Ruthie? by Ruth Hegarty.
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Even today some people have not seen the files that controlled their
childhoods.