By Gita BezardDramaBlack Swan State Theatre Company

Girl Shut Your Mouth

Katie, Grace, Mia and Darcy are your average 16-year-old girls. They love boys and dresses and the idea of a feminist future. Everything about them is normal. Except their friends die on a monthly basis. Except their lives are in danger if they go out after dark. Except they aren't really your average 16-year-old girls at all.

In an attack on their school, Katie was shot, and her bullet means that now she's going to leave this place. She's heading to a place where they welcome you with open arms, where no one tells you what to do, where you can live and believe and act how you want.

Darcy's been through her own ordeal, but Grace and Mia are wracked with jealousy about Katie's new future. It doesn't help that they have yet another funeral to attend – with fake orchids no less, but that's not even the worst one they've seen.

So they resolve to get bullets of their own. But that's easier said than done. And what if it doesn't end the way they want it to? What if the place Katie's going isn't what they think it is?

Portrait of Gita Bezard

Gita Bezard

Gita Bezard is a playwright, devisor and performer. In 2016 she had her playwriting debut at Black Swan State Theatre Company with Girl Shut Your Mouth. In 2015 she directed and wrote Yoshi's Castle at the 2015 Fringe World Festival which was shortlisted for the prestigious Martin Sims Award. Later in the year, she directed All That Glitters at the Blue Room Theatre and was commissioned by Curtin University to write In a Bony Embrace, which also premiered at the Blue Room Theatre.

In 2014 she was a part of Playwriting Australia’s National Script Workshop and in 2013 she was selected for the Re-Gen program for the National Play Festival. Gita has twice won one of the Black Swan State Theatre Company’s Emerging Writer Awards and was awarded the StagesWA Co-Commission to adapt two plays by Eugene Ionesco for Perth Theatre Company in 2012. She was also artist-in-residence at the Albany Vancouver Arts Centre. In 2012 she received a DCA Young People and the Arts Fellowship to do professional development in the UK and USA.

Until 2013 she was a member of independent theatre company, the Duck House, and wrote three plays for them; One Night Echo (PICA 2012); They Ran 'Til They Stopped (Performing Lines and PICA, 2011) and Oscar (Rechabites Hall, 2008).

Judges’ report

With dialogue that sparks and shimmers from the very first word, Girl Shut Your Mouth is a fresh, funny, exciting piece of writing about ordinary living in an extraordinarily violent world. The idioms and vernacular of teenage girls are captured with serious wit and clarity to deliver shocking truths about survival in a flat, brutal and matter-of-fact fashion.

This piece is at once broad and precise, creating both a clear sense of place while also allowing for multiple interpretations of that place, which keeps the text alive and the action bouncing off the page. Using pop culture and theatre tropes with clever playfulness, Girl Shut Your Mouth is a relevant, contemporary text that listens closely to the urgent concerns underscoring what otherwise may appear flippant conversations, and translates these into a text that that is disturbing, sharp and provocative.

Extract

Download an extract from Girl Shut Your Mouth, scene two, in PDF format.

The Premier’s 21 Shortlist