The Gods Of Strangers

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A State Theatre Company South Australia Production presented in association with Country Arts SA and Playwriting Australia

By Elena Carapetis

It’s 1947. Two women in Port Pirie greet unexpected guests at their doors. At one: a man looking for shelter, work and to leave his past behind him. At the other: a woman seeking someone she has lost, and something that was stolen from her.

It is said that if a stranger knocks on your door, you let them in – they could be a god in disguise. But, what do they bring in with them?

A family drama of epic proportions, in the spirit of Miller, Kazantzakis and Kambanellis, The Gods of Strangers promises to be an impassioned night of theatre.

Inspired by the oral histories of Greek, Cypriot and Italian migrants to regional South Australia, this historical fiction explores the untold struggles of belonging, identity and family in post World War II Australia. Featuring Dina Panozzo (Packed to the Rafters, A Place to Call Home), Renato Musolino (1984, Othello, The Good Son) and Eugenia Fragos (Things I Know To Be True, The Good Son), this multicultural drama has been written from the heart, especially for State Theatre Company South Australia by Resident Artist and Greek Cypriot descendant Elena Carapetis.

The Gods of Strangers is a tri-lingual performance. It will be performed in English, with sections of the play being performed in Greek and  Italian with English surtitles.

Duration: 2 hours and 40 minutes (including a 20 minute interval).

  • Buy audio tickets to an audio described session of The Gods of Strangers here

    You can access pre-show notes for The Gods of Strangers here.

    You can access an audio version of pre-show notes for The Gods of Strangers here


  • Μία παραγωγή της State Theatre Company σε συνεργασία με την Playwriting Australia και την Country Arts SA

    Της Elena Carapetis

    Έτος 1947. Δύο γυναίκες υποδέχονται απρόσμενους επισκέπτες στις πόρτες τους στο Port Pirie.

    Στην πρώτη πόρτα, ένας άνδρας γυρεύει στέγη, δουλειά και να αφήσει πίσω του το παρελθόν του. Στην δεύτερη, μία γυναίκα ψάχνει κάποιον που έχει χάσει και κάτι που της έχουν κλεψει.

    Λένε πως αν κάποιος ξένος χτυπήσει την πόρτα σου, πρέπει να τον καλέσεις μέσα – μπορεί και να είναι κάποιος μεταμφιεσμένος θεός. Αλλά τι μπορεί να φέρνει μαζί του;

    Ένα οικογενειακό δράμα με επικές διαστάσεις στο πνεύμα των Miller, Καζαντζάκη και Καμπανέλλη, «Οι Θεοί των Ξένων» υπόσχονται μία θεατρική βραδιά γεμάτη πάθη.

    Εμπνευσμένο από τις προφορικές μαρτυρίες Ελλήνων, Ελληνοκυπρίων και Ιταλών μεταναστών στην Νοτιοαυστραλέζικη επαρχία, το ιστορικό αυτό μυθιστοριογράφημα εξερευνά τις ανείπωτες μάχες για την ταυτότητα, την οικογένεια και το ανήκειν στην μεταπολεμική Αυστραλία.

    Συμμετέχουν η εκπληκτική Dina Panozzo (Packed to the Rafters), o Renato Musolino (1984, Othello, The Good Son) και η Eugenia Fragos (Things I Know to be True, The Good Son). Αυτό το θεατρικό έργο που αγγίζει την πολυπολιτισμικότητα της Αυστραλίας, είναι γραμμένο από καρδιάς ειδικά για την State Theatre Company της Νοτίου Αυστραλίας από την φιλοξενούμενη καλλιτέχνιδα Eλληνικής / Eλληνοκυπριακής Elena Carapetis.

    «Η πλέον υποσχόμενη θεατρική συγγραφέας της Νοτίου Αυστραλίας» -The Barefoot Review

    Η παράστασης αποδίδεται στα Ελληνικά, Ιταλικά και Αγγλικά με Αγγλικούς υπότιτλους

    Geordie Brookman

    Victoria Lamb

    Olivia Freear

    Gavin Norris

    Dina Panozzo, Eugenia Fragos, Deborah Galanos, Elizabeth Hay, Renato Musolino, Philippos Ziakas



    Èra il 1947. Due donne a Port Pirie salutano ospiti inaspettati alle loro porte. Da una: un uomo che cerca riparo, lavoro e di lasciare il suo passato alle sue spalle. Dall’altra: una donna che cerca qualcuno che ha perso e qualcosa che le è stato rubato. Si dice che se un estraneo bussa alla tua porta, lo fai entrare – potrebbe essere un dio travestito. Ma cosa porta con sè?

    Un dramma familiare di proporzioni epiche, nello spirito di Miller, Kazantzakis e Kabanellis, Gli Dèi Degli Estranei (The Gods of Strangers) promette di essere un’appassionata notte di teatro.

    Ispirato alle storie orali di immigrati greci, ciprioti e italiani nella regione meridionale dell’Australia, questo dramma storico esplora le indicibili lotte di appartenenza, identità e famiglia nell’Australia del secondo dopoguerra.

    Con i formidabili Dina Panozzo (Packed to the Rafters), Renato Musolino (1984, Othello) e Eugenia Fragos (Things I Know To Be True), questo dramma multiculturale è stato scritto dal cuore, soprattutto per la State Theatre Company South Australia dall’artista residente e di discedenza greca-cipriota Elena Carapetis.

    ‘Il nuovo drammaturgo più promettente del Sud Australia’ — The Barefoot Review

    Lo spettacolo sara eseguito in inglese, greco ed italiano, con sottotitoli inglesi.

    Geordie Brookman

    Victoria Lamb

    Olivia Freear

    Gavin Norris

    Dina Panozzo, Eugenia Fragos, Deborah Galanos, Elizabeth Hay, Renato Musolino, Philippos Ziakas


Explore the Show

  • When we saw The Gods of Strangers, we were struck by the generosity, warmth and love that exuded from the work. It reminded us of going home, of sinking our fingers into the dough of a childhood recipe, of spending time with family. So, to celebrate the show and to share all of that love, we created a cookbook delving into our histories and our homes.

    It’s called Mangia! and we hope you cook from it and share the food with the people you love. Hopefully after seeing The Gods of Strangers.

  • “Representing all of us on stage is important because we all deserve to see ourselves reflected back. Seeing stories that speak directly to our own experience is like being fed our favourite comfort food made by yiayia /nonna/ nanna. It makes us feel understood, valued and cared for.”

    Writer Elena Carapetis talks about representation, the challenge of creating theatre and the need for diverse modes of storytelling. Read the full story here.

  • Elena Carapetis, Geordie Brookman, Renato Musolino took to the airwaves to talk about the history behind The Gods of Strangers and perform a short scene from the show.

    Listen here.

  • “When minority languages are used in a performance, or when languages are chosen for specific a cultural or artistic reason, it kind of subverts the normal power relationships between the dominant culture and the minority culture. Members of a dominant culture are more likely to be monolingual, whereas members of a minority culture are more likely to use their own minority language but also be proficient in the dominant language. This idea of the bilingual audiences understanding everything means that the benefits of the theatre accrue to them and not members of the dominant culture.”

    We chatted to writer, director and academic Michael Rirchardson from Herriot-Watt University in Scotland about the ways in which multi-lingual theatre can enrich your experience.

    Read the full interview here. 

  • We chat to costume designer Olivia Freear about how she went about creating vintage garments for the stage in The Gods of Strangers.

  • Elena Carapetis’ play puts the migrant experience front and centre. By delving into her own history, she has unearthed beautiful stories of resilience from Greek Cypriot and Italian migrants in post-World War II Australia. She puts an unflinching light on Australia’s infatuation with the creation and maintenance of a societal other.

    We take a look at some of the incredible research that went into the creation of The Gods of Strangers. Read the full story here. 

  • To experience The Gods of Strangers is to feel intimately connected to your culture and heritage. To see a story that is so intrinsically tied to a sense of place is to experience something that is once thrilling and instantly familiar. It’s tangible. It reminded me of home.

    Anthony Nocera reflects on the experience of making pasta with his nonna and his relationship to his culture.

    Read more here.

  • Writer Elena Carapetis tells us about the incredible women she’d bringing to the stage in The Gods of Strangers


Geordie Brookman

Set Designer

Victoria Lamb

Costume Designer

Olivia Freear

Lighting Designer

Gavin Norris


Hilary Klienig

Sound Designer

Andrew Howard


Eugenia Fragos, Deborah Galanos, Elizabeth Hay, Renato Musolino, Dina Panozzo, Philippos Ziakas

Dates & Times

      • P
      • ON
      • AS
      • QA
      • C
      • K
      • C
      • AD
      • AD
Auslan Interpreted
Opening Night
Audio Described
Keith's Matinee Club
Post-show Q&A




The Gods Of Strangers is presented in association with Playwriting Australia. Ignition is a 4-year creative script-development program in partnership with producing companies, which will increase the investment, range, ambition, diversity and quality of Australian playwriting, leading to new landmark productions.  It seeks to extend the range, scale and diversity of works, providing necessary resources to develop scripts to an exceptional quality.