PLAY BASED ON TRINITY ABUSE HITS HOLLYWOOD
by Ellen Connolly
Sun. May 27, 2012 — Sydney Morning Herald
AMERICAN audiences will be confronted with a controversial side of Australian life when a theatre production based on the bullying and sexual abuse scandal at a top Sydney private boarding school opens in Hollywood next month.
Starring former Underbelly and Home and Away actor, Martin Dingle-Wall, the play, Anaconda, was inspired by the scandal that engulfed Trinity Grammar School in 2001 when four Year 10 boarders were charged with several counts of sexual assault.
Shocking details emerged in court, including allegations that one boy was assaulted more than 50 times with a large wooden dildo dubbed the ’’anaconda’’ that one of them made in a woodwork class.
The offenders pleaded guilty to lesser charges of assault in the children’s court and walked free on bonds, while two of the victims received out-of-court settlements.
Director Sarah Doyle says the script is based on those events, although she has set the school in New York City.
“I may put in the program that this was based on a true story that happened in a prominent Sydney school. It is after all a universal issue,” said Doyle, who cited the recent Penn State University sex scandal in which top school officials were accused of ignoring signs of alleged predatory behaviour.
“One thing these incidents all have in common is the silence. The silence of the victims, the perpetrators and the cultures surrounding them which permit these atrocities,” Doyle said.
The play will premiere on June 15 at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.
Before writing the script, Doyle interviewed former students of Trinity Grammar, including a boy who was in the woodwork class where the anaconda was crafted.
Dingle-Wall plays the lead character – a lawyer who was a former student who witnessed the bullying but turned a blind eye, and now must deal with his own demons.
“It’s an extreme Hollywood script that exposes a deep dark underbelly of assault and system denial,’’ Dingle-Wall said.
Doyle is in talks to bring Anaconda to Australia next year.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/theatre/play-based-on-trinity-abuse-hits-hollywood-20120526-1zbo6.html#ixzz1w34UqT00
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