The Disappearances Project
The Disappearances Project Contributed

Play unlocks pain of disappearances

FINDING a positive out of a horrendous issue that touches the lives of many Australians is difficult.

But theatre company Version 1.0 has found a way to do just that.

The Disappearances Project is a play centred on the issue of missing persons and aims to raise awareness and help families deal with the traumatic event.

The play uses voices and the words of family members to demonstrate the rollercoaster of emotions.

It started out as a way for the Bathurst community in New South Wales to heal after a member of the community went missing.

From there, it has grown into a play that has been staged across Australia.

The research of Griffith University School of Human Services and Social Work lecturer Julie Clark is at the heart of the play.

Dr Clark said the production was all about helping people start a difficult conversation that, in the long run, would be useful to them.

She hoped the play encouraged people to develop a better understanding of what it was like to have a family member go missing.

Dr Clark said one of the comments she had received was that the nights were the hardest for people to go through, so the play transported the viewer through a night of searching.

"You strongly get the sense of what it is like to wait and wait and not know what comes at the end," Dr Clark said.

"It will make you think a lot more about your relationships with your family members and how valuable they are."

Audience members will have a one-on-one chance to talk to the actors and Dr Clark in a session at the Events Centre, Caloundra, on July 12 at 7.30pm.

A workshop on "missingness", ambiguous loss and disenfranchised grief will be held from 10.30am-2pm that day.

The Disappearances Project opens at the Judith Wright Centre in Brisbane on July 3.

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