Themes & Ideas


  • Coping with loss and change
  • Feminine strength and power
  • Faith, conviction and self-belief
  • Defiance against conformity
  • Salvation and guidance
  • Legacy and remembrance
  • Moving on



In groups of four, workshop Scene 2 (page 25) when Astrid returns to her School Captain duties and gives out detention slips to students. One actor can play the role of multiple students by applying transformational acting techniques.


To prepare, read the scene and discuss the themes and ideas it explores. When staging the scene, aim to highlight the tension of relationship that builds between the two best friends, as things do not simply return to the way they used to be between Astrid and Sienna. 


You will need to skillfully manipulate dramatic focus to clearly convey that Sienna does not see the piece of cake talking, but simply thinks Astrid is responding to her, as well as her intermittent interaction with the students who are trying to sneak past her.  


Read Scene 6 (page 51) carefully with a partner and respond to the following:

  1. Why did Sienna write a return speech for Astrid to deliver?
  2. What is Astrid’s response to the Principal’s announcement of the memorial garden?
  3. Read the detailed stage directions on page 54. Why does Joan intervene at this moment? Consider the parallels between Joan’s story and Astrid’s point in the narrative to find the symbolism.
  4. Describe the mood shifts and build up of tension in this scene.
  5. What motivates Astrid to ditch the prepared speech and talk truthfully? What is her point of view in her speech?
  6. Consider the symbolism of Joan intervening at this point in the action. How might she interact with Astrid to build tension and convey meaning to the audience?

2020 Copyright Brisbane Girls Grammar School
This resource was written by Mrs Katrina Riveros with video by Mr Brad Jennings.