Monash students bring The Handmaid’s Tale to life

25 May 2015

A theatrical production of Margaret Atwood’s award winning novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, will premiere in Australia for the first time at Monash University this month.
Adapted by the Monash Uni Student Theatre (MUST) (MSA), tickets are on sale now. Performances will take place on weekday and Saturday evenings, as well as Saturday matinee performances at the university’s Clayton campus, from May 28 – June 6.

Monash University Faculty of Arts
Imogen Walsh as Offred. Photo by Sarah Wallace

All of the cast and crew are students, and with 30 cast members and 20 crew. All Monash faculties are represented.
Published in 1985, the dystopian novel has previously been adapted for film, radio, opera and stage. Set in the near future, in what was once the United States of America, a dictatorship quickly takes control after the assassination of the president.
Under the pretext of restoring order, the new regime reorganises society into social classes, and quickly strips away women’s rights. Presented through the eyes of a female character called Offred, who describes her new life as a handmaid, the gripping story is a vivid portrayal of how life changes irrevocably.
Yvonne Virsik, Director of the Monash University adaption, said the decision to adapt Margaret Atwood’s book for the stage was unanimous amongst MUST.
“Margaret Atwood’s novel is compelling and raw, and this production intimately observes a society with frightening parallels to our own society. Through Offred we see the evil that can be done by denying individuals the freedom over their identity and even their life,” Yvonne said.
The Handmaid’s Tale offers incredible dynamic material for the stage and I would urge anyone, whether they have read the book or not, to come along and see the play. This production will showcase the talents of Melbourne’s future theatre generation,” she said.
Monash Uni Student Theatre (MUST)
Monash Uni Student Theatre (MUST) is a department of the Monash Student Association, run by professional theatre makers, that creates vibrant, innovative theatre by, with, and for Monash University students and the wider community. Their works are diverse, ranging from new text-based and devised works to bold takes on classics, adaptations, events and exhibitions.

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