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HighWater

Somebody's Daughter Theatre

Year: 2020, 4 mins
Code: SD-High

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The HighWater Film (48 minutes-drama) based on the establishment of an alternative education setting for “kids who don’t fit” was shown at the Santa Fe Film Festival (New Mexico) in April 2016. 

Based on true events, HIGHWATER tells the story of how HighWater Theatre School was born. Six at-risk teenagers, two ex-prisoner trainee artists and three passionate, yet naïve community artists have the daunting task of establishing an alternative school in a conservative border town of Australia.


Award of Recognition: Drama Program / Series

Award of Recognition: Special Purpose Productions

Award of Recognition: Use of Film / Video for Social Change

Somebody’s Daughter Theatre had its beginnings at Fairlea Women’s Prison in 1980 when Maud Clark, a drama student at Victorian College of the Arts, arranged to take the play, ‘Female Transport’ into the prison. It was a play about women being brought over to Australia in the hulks. A very articulate English woman, who was wont to quote the Geneva Convention to officers, asked if we could do drama in the prison. So we started doing workshops.  The way we worked then is still very much how we work today.

Our art form is community arts.  Our expertise is in working with communities that historically have had no voice. We have a 40 year record of working with the most vulnerable, the most disregarded, the most powerless in our society including:

Women in prison (from 1980) and post-release (from 1990)

Young men and women in secure welfare (from 2002)

Marginalised young people in rural communities (from 2001)

We are innovative leaders in the arts sector, highly experienced in developing arts led solutions to address complex societal issues.

We partner with government agencies and organisations, using the arts as a driver to break cycles of abuse, addiction and disengagement.

We influence the perception of arts and its role within our communities.

We believe that in a world where so much is unequal – arts are the great equaliser – and probably the only point of equal meeting for so many of the people we work with.

That is why it is potent.  That is why it works.

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