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About Children of the Black Skirt

A gothic tale retelling of stories from Australian History, written by an Australian playwright.
Lost children discover an abandoned orphanage in the bush and learn about Australian history through the spirits of children who lived there. Beginning in convict times, going through to World War II, the Stolen Generation and beyond.

This play is evocative and explores history, reconciliation and the power of storytelling.
Patrons are advised that themes indicate but do not depict, sexual assault, child neglect and child abuse, and that there is a non-naturalistic depiction of a hanging.

Directed by Deanne Joosten.

2nd April - 9th April 2022

  • Location: Phoenix Community College

  • Genre: Drama

  • Playwright: Angela Betzien's

  • Director: Deanne Joosten

  • Running Time

About the Director

Deanne Joosten

I have always had a great passion for Drama and Theatre. From a very young age I was creating, directing, designing and producing all of my own performance (much to the unhappiness of my non-theatrical siblings who did not share my passion). I lived and breathed Drama in my high school years and still am incredibly inspired by and grateful to my two drama teachers who encouraged and nurtured my passion.

After high school I auditioned for and secured a place in the Arts Academy Program at University of Ballarat (before it became Federation University) back in 1992 completing my Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts. I was incredibly fortunate to study under some incredible lecturers and developed a broad range of skills as an actor, director and designer.

After finishing my degree, I worked for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast as a Production Secretary at the Princess Theatre. The opportunity to work behind the scenes in professional theatre was an incredible experience in which I learnt an enormous amount. My life took a detour for a few years whilst I travelled and eventually, I returned to study to complete a teaching qualification and became a Drama and Theatre Studies teacher in 2003. Since then, I have been fortunate enough to direct in excess of 20 major school productions ranging from large scale musicals with over 100 students in the cast to small performances for one act play festivals or school performances.

I have also been involved in community theatre both as a performer and a director over the years. I directed a professional production “Sanctuary” which was selected for the VCE Drama study list and studied by thousands of VCE Students in 2011. My directing experience is wide and varied which I feel allows me a rather broad perspective and knowledge of many aspects of theatrical performance. However, I do seem to find myself drawn towards more non naturalistic performance styles and musicals.


Original script written by: Angela Betien's

Cast & Crew

Tahanyth Webster


Zerene Jaadwa


Zoe James


Rouzbeh Nadjar


Joseph Appleton


Alex Patterson


Alexandra Pennell


Brendan O Brien

Sound & Lighting

Gabby Wren

Stage Manager


    Rehearsal Gallery