In a city at war, five young people count down the days before a boat sets sail for a safer place.
From multiple-award winning playwright Samah Sabawi comes THEM — a compelling tale of survival, friendship, and the things we are willing to do to protect the ones we love.
THEM tells the story of one young family as they face the decision whether to flee their war-torn city. Omar, Leila and their young child are counting down the days. Their friends enjoy fantasies of escape and the arrival of Omar’s sister brings a real chance to get out – but at what cost?
Developed in consultation with people living in conflict zones and displaced by war, the play was first supported by Melbourne Theatre Company’s Cybec Electric program before enjoying a sell-out extended season at La Mama in 2019.
With unexpected tenderness, laughter, and song, THEM takes audiences into extraordinary circumstances to reveal our shared humanity in the ordinary moments that shape our lives.
Winner of the Independent Theatre Award for Best Writing, Green Room Awards Nominee for Best Ensemble, Best Direction, and Best Production, Green Room Awards Shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award 2020 (Drama) Shortlisted for the Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting, NSW Premier’s Literary Award Selected for the VCE Theatre Studies Playlist 2021.
“There is no amount of praise that is sufficient to heap on Samah Sabawi’s writing and Bagryana Popov’s directing […] Perhaps the most important piece of theatre you will see this year.” – 5 STARS, The Music
Written by Samah Sabawi
Directed by Bagryana Popov
Performed by Osamah Sami, Taj Aldeeb, Claudia Greenstone, Mehran Tajbakhsh, Sahil Saluja and Nahed Elrayes
Set and costume design by Lara Week
Lighting design by Shane Grant
Sound design by Elissa Goodrich
Stage manager: Hayley Fox
Prop maker: Lara Chamas
Produced by Lara Week, La Mama Theatre, and Critical Stages Touring
Image by Justyn Koh
Originally produced by Lara Week and Samah Sabawi, in collaboration with La Mama Theatre. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. THEM is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.
28 – 31 July: Arts Centre Melbourne
3 August: Riverlinks, Shepparton
4 August: Riverlinks, Shepparton
5 – 6 August: Bunjil Place, Narre Warren
9 August: Capital Theatre, Bendigo
12 – 13 August: Casula Powerhouse, Sydney