The Brisbane Powerhouse will host the premiere of Slammed, an Australian play focusing on youth social issues.Written by former secondary school teacher Stefanie Brooke Harper and directed by John Peek, Slammed features a cast of 11 Brisbane Actors and is produced by independent arts company Crosstown Artists.

The play is one that seeks to present relevant drama, infusing contemporary social issues with an artistic production aiming to encourage audiences to reflect on their own daily life.

Slammed follows the story of Jake Ryan – a teenager with a troubled life who must face the hardships of high school without supportive parents.

However, throughout the play Jake begins to learn that he is not the only one being ‘slammed’ and discovers that others in his sphere of friends are also battling hardships.

Playwright Stefanie Brooke Harper says that her experience in working as a secondary school teacher taught her that young people endure a wide range of hardships that are not necessarily contained within the classroom.

“I wanted to find a way to get parents, and teachers and students alike, all talking about and reflecting on these problems and behaviours,” Ms Harper says.

“With the skills and experiences that were available to me, the best answer I could come up with to (hopefully) achieve that, was Slammed.”

The script has been positively received by many schools across Queensland, and some have undertaken to study Slammed due to its relevant themes.

Despite this, director John Peek says Slammed is not only a story for teenagers, but is relevant to anyone across the community.

“The tagline for Slammed is ‘the life and hard times of everyone you know’ and we all have a story to tell,” Mr Peek says.

“Slammed gives us permission […] to check in with the 15 year-old selves that are still right there inside of us.”

Supported by the One Punch Can Kill campaign, and endorsed by mental health expert Susan De Campo, Slammed will prove to be an enlightening lesson for all of us who remain in, or have left the classroom.

Words by Melanie Baker

Picture by Slammed

Details: Brisbane Powerhouse, 119 Lamington Street, New Farm QLD 4005 | Box Office 3358 8600 | From July 23 until August 1, 2015 | Tickets from $28 to $45 available at the Brisbane Powerhouse box office