This Is Our Youth: Culkin, Cera and Barclay bring NY tale to Opera House

This Is Our Youth
Barclay, Cera and Culkin

Sydney audiences are in for a treat this autumn when Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin and Emily Barclay bring a piece of New York City to the Sydney Opera House stage.

This all-star cast will tackle Kenneth Lonergan’s seminal play This is Our Youth – a darkly funny play about coming of age in New York in the 80s – and tickets are on sale from today!

Award-winning American director Mark Brokaw, who directed the play’s acclaimed world premiere season in 1996 and a revival in 1998, will steer this new production to the stage.

This is Our Youth is one of the most beautifully written American plays of the last 20 years”, said Brokaw, currently the Artistic Director of the Yale Institute for Music Theatre.

“Kenneth Lonergan’s ear for these kids’ language, and feel for their emotional heart, bowls me over every time I hear the play.”

This is Our Youth traces a day in the lives of three angst-ridden, New York slackers trying to find a way to escape the gilded cage of their dysfunctional families and decipher their place in the world. Although the piece is set in 1982, it is essentially a timeless portrait of a disaffected generation, stifled and set adrift by the sudden affluence that came to characterise Reagan’s America.

This is Our Youth gives a voice to a group of over-privileged and hyper-articulate kids in a way that questions the similarities in our youth today.

“It’s funny, deeply moving, surprising – all at the same time. It’s a real gift to be able to share time with these three characters during their life-changing night in Manhattan”, said Brokaw, who will be showcasing his work in Australi for the first time with This Is Our Youth.

This international cast of Cera (Canada), Culkin (America) and Barclay (Australia) is set to join the ranks of high profile actors to have starred in the production on the West End and Broadway. In New York and London the play has been performed by the likes of Mark Ruffalo, Hayden Christensen, Matt Damon, Colin Hanks, Chris Klein, Jake Gyllenhaal and Anna Paquin.

Canadian screen actor and BAFTA- and SAG-Award nominee Michael Cera is best known to audiences for his starring roles in TV series Arrested Development (2003 onwards) and films including Juno (2007), Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008), Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), Superbad (2007) and Youth In Revolt (2009).

Golden Globe-nominated Kieran Culkin has co-starred with Michael Cera in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010) as well as appearing in The Cider House Rules (1999), Igby Goes Down (2002), and Margaret (2011). An accomplished stage actor, Culkin appeared in the highly acclaimed 2002 production of This is Our Youth in London’s West End alongside Colin Hanks and Alison Lohman.

Emily Barclay is known for her on-screen role of Katrina in Suburban Mayhem (2006) for which she won the AFI Award for Best Lead Actress. On stage, she has appeared in Melbourne Theatre Company’s The Importance of Being Earnest with Geoffrey Rush, Belvoir’s Gethsemane (2009), That Face (2010) and alongside David Wenham and Judy Davis in The Seagull (2011). After this season, she will appear in Belvoir’s Strange Interlude (from 5 May).

Jonathan Bielski, Executive Producer, Sydney Opera House has said he hopes the three young stars of this piece will “attract a new audience for theatre”.

This Is Our Youth
14 – 25 March 

Tuesdays to Fridays – 8.00pm
Saturdays – 2.00pm & 8.00pm
Sunday – 1.00pm & 6.00pm

On Wednesday 21 March, there will
be an additional matinee performance at
2pm followed by a post-show talk with the

VENUE: Sydney Opera House, Drama Theatre
TICKETS: From $69
BOOKING: Tickets on sale from 10 February 2012 or call (02) 9250 7777


Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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