Although it does not receive the same press of its successor, WWI shaped the political landscape that still ripples throughout the world. It introduced mechanized warfare to commanders that clung to an outdated modus operandi, which resulted in a bloodbath that both sides could hardly anticipate. Empires were destroyed, boundaries were created, and terrible new weapons introduced.
History may present the facts and figures, which now seem vague and remote. Scenes from ANZAC the Play brings that remarkable time to life. Author Mary Anneeta Mann allows an authentic profile of the lives that were changed by the events of the Great War. She ought to know — her father fought in the Gallipoli campaign in 1915. It was a strategic fiasco by the Allies. But it was the birth of national identity for the Australians. It was their “trial by fire” for which they succeeded admirably.
The story involves likable characters in Charters Towers, a small North Queensland town. This is an agriculture community, bound by tradition, an easy pace, and unlimited dreams. The benevolence is shattered by the announcement of war. Being a dominion of Britain, citizens felt compelled to fight for a sense of duty and patriotism.
The book’s content, read by actors, presented a convincing interpretation of Mann’s work. The writing is crisp and honest, as the actors honed their theatrical skills to emphasize the characters’ voice and intent. Some of the standout performances were from Ann Berry, Jennifer Clarke, and David Laird Scott.
More readings are scheduled to follow. This is a fantastic way to experience anew an interpretation of quality writing. Although the place and time may seem foreign to some, the themes are universal and timeless. One could even use the analogy of the recruiting methods employed by the government for the Iraqi war.
T.U. Studios presents Scenes from ANZAC the Play at 10943 Camarillo St. in North Hollywood. For more information visit
maryanneetamann.com or call (818) 769-1145.