Trapper - Arena Theatre Company

The Trapper Schools Workshop is a companion piece to Arena’s new performance work Trapper, premiering at Arts Centre Melbourne in August, 2017. In Trapper, four performers battle each other inside a series of giant sculptural machines, hoping to discover the proof of free will. Using slam poetry and demanding physical agility, the performers make their arguments from within the body of the machines – simultaneously asking; are we in control or being controlled?  Trapper investigates the complex relationship humans have with the systems we embrace, inhabit and fight against.

The Trapper Schools Workshop is designed to activate students to explore the same ideas in a workshop context. Workshop students will be divided into 2 groups- design/construction and writing/performing.  The design/construction group will create the ‘Trapper’. The ‘Trapper’ is a beautiful, multifaceted, sculptural environment that provides both opportunities and obstacles for spoken word pieces to be performed within. The task for the design/construction group is to create a space that has subtle, but powerful influence over how an actor would choose to perform in the space. This will include things such as; the routes actors take to move through the space, the places actors pause, and the places actors are drawn to speak from. The ‘Trapper’ should be both aesthetically fascinating and deeply influential over the humans inside it.  Simultaneously, the writing/performing group will create short spoken word pieces, exploring concepts of agency and autonomy in their lives. They will be encouraged to think about what influences their decision making, considering both conscious and hidden influences.

In the third phase of the workshop, the writer/performers will be introduced to the ‘Trapper’. Arena’s artists will facilitate the performers to choose through improvisation how they will move in the space, and from where they will deliver their spoken word pieces.

In the fourth phase the writer/performers will perform their works in a performance context, for each other or a larger group from the school community.

In the final stage, both groups and audience come together to discuss their ideas about autonomy and agency through the lens of being performer, builder or audience.

"Arena workshops have done exactly what we were looking for; that is, provide our students with something unique, something that would not be in our capacity to offer any other way; and the high level of engagement is ample evidence that  students have relished the experience." Barbara Napthine, Assistant Principal, Swifts Creek P-12 College



Throughout 2017

(Except Monday 3 July - Sunday 6 August  2017)


Years 7 - 10, VCE

Max Students 25 at a time


1 day - 1 week


$1700 + GST /1 day workshop LESS Eligible Subsidy

$5573 + GST / week including materials LESS Eligible Subsidy

Victorian Curriculum Links: The Arts, English, Technologies, The Humanities – Civics and Citizenship

Capabilities: Personal and Social, Critical and Creative Thinking  

VCE: Units 1 – 4 Drama, English, Literature, Theatre Studies, Studio Arts.

Artforms: Drama, Visual Arts, Poetry, Spoken Word

Key Themes: Agency and Identity, Decision making, Systems and Influence

Arena Logo  Creative Victoria Logo

Images: Jolyon James

A performance and workshop that explores the concept of free will. Students create sculptural machines and write spoken word pieces on the concepts of agency and autonomy, considering the systems that control us and influence decision-making.

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Metro: 30th Jan 2017 to 3rd Jul 2016
Metro: 7th Aug 2017 to 22nd Dec 2017
Regional: 30th Jan 2017 to 3rd Jul 2016
Regional: 7th Aug 2017 to 22nd Dec 2017

Arena Theatre Company
Duration: 1 day - 1 week
Artforms: Visual Arts, Writing & Publishing, Drama, Spoken Word, Poetry
Minimum fee: $1700 + GST /1 day workshop LESS Eligible Subsidy $5573 + GST / week including materials LESS Eligible Subsidy
Suitability: Year 7, Year 8, Year 9, Year 10, Year 11, Year 12
Terms: Term 1, Term 2, Term 3, Term 4
Maximum Student Attendance: 25
Booking info: Technical Requirements: Large open space with wooden or concrete floor i.e. hall, stage or covered outdoor space.