A new work for teenagers, asking, are we in control, or being controlled?

Four performers battle each other inside a series of giant sculptural machines, hoping to discover the proof of free will.

Using slam poetry and demanding physical agility, the performers make their arguments from within the body of the machines – simultaneously asking; are we in control or being controlled? Trapper investigates the complex relationship humans have with the systems we embrace, inhabit and fight against.

With writing by playwright, Angus Cerini,  and poet, Emilie Zoey Baker, and directed by Christian Leavelsey, Trapper is aimed at teenagers (14+) as they move into adulthood.

Trapper will world premiere in August 2017 at Arts Centre Melbourne. Details below.

World Premiere: Arts Centre Melbourne


Arts Centre Melbourne - Fairfax Studio


2–4 August
(Term 3)

2 August, 10:30am & 1pm
3–4 August, 12:30pm

Duration: 65 min plus 15 minute post-show Q&A

PRICE: $22


Ages 14+

Years 9-12



Concept Christian Leavesley and Jolyon James
Text Angus Cerini and Emillie Zoey Baker
Director Christian Leavesley
Design Jolyon James


Creative Development


The Trapper Schools Workshop is a companion piece to Arena’s new performance work Trapper, premiering at Arts Centre Melbourne in August, 2017.

The Trapper Schools Workshop is designed to activate students to explore the same ideas in a workshop context. Students will work with Arena Theatre Company’s artists to explore concepts of autonomy and agency within their own life. They will be encouraged to think about what influences their decision making, considering both conscious and hidden influences. Students will then be guided by Arena’s artists to write their own unique spoken word performance in response to these provocations.

The Trapper Schhols Workshop is available through Regional Arts Victoria (RAV) for regional and rural schools and Arts Centre Melbourne for metropolitan schools. 

Please see the Trapper Schools Workshop page for more information or contact Education and Programs Manager Alexandra Macalister-Bills on

Schools Development

Early October 2014 Arena travelled to East Gippsland where we spent a day working at 5 schools - Bairnsdale Secondary College, Swifts Creek P12 College, Cann River P12 College, Mallacoota P12 College and Orbost Secondary College.

Together Arena Artists built some incredible cascading machines with students aged anywhere between 8 - 17. They explored ideas of independence and decision making and looked at the systems they live their lives within (or outside of).

Huge thank you to all schools and students involved. Incredibly inspiring experience.