Euphoria by Emily Steel is a new play commissioned by Country Arts SA and developed in consultation with regional communities. This South Australian regional story explores the joys and challenges of living in a country town, and shines a light on mental health with humour and compassion.

Seven communities, one playwright and several cups of tea…

Life in rural and remote Australia is marked by unpredictability, isolation, economic and financial uncertainty, incessant change and extreme weather events. It’s a tough environment with many challenges that impact on health and wellbeing, yet statistics indicate people in regional areas are happy…

Playwright Emily Steel has examined this paradox as artist in residence in three mental health inpatient units and communities across regional South Australia.

Country Arts SA invited communities including groups, organisations and individuals with an interest in mental health, and those with a curiosity in writing, theatre or performance to meet with Emily and share the experiences and challenges of living in regional South Australia and how this affects health and wellbeing.

Emily connected with communities in Berri, Lameroo, Whyalla, Streaky Bay, Ceduna, Mt Gambier and Bordertown.

Following this early consultation, the First draft of Euphoria was written. Emily went on to write a second draft which was explored through a creative development week with actors and director Nescha Jelk, before a public reading of a third draft and Q&A in March 2019.

As part of ongoing consultation and engagement with regional communities, Country Arts SA returned to each town and to Burra in September 2019 with Emily Steel, Nescha Jelk and actors Ashton Malcolm and Jonathan Darby to share the work and seek feedback on the Fourth draft.

Euphoria will be Co-Produced with State Theatre Company SA in 2020, with an extensive tour of regional South Australia, Metropolitan Adelaide and a season at the Space Theatre, Adelaide.

SA Mental Health Commissioner Chris Burns is the Ambassador for Euphoria.

For more information visit


06. 05. 2019

A long story

By Emily Steel I meant to post updates on the development of Euphoria as we went along, after I wrote the first draft, after the creative development in November, and after the public reading in March. But I didn’t do it – because I was worn out, because my head was full of the play […]


Alison Howard

25. 05. 2018

Same same different different

I’m writing this from Bordertown, the last stop in the research for the Euphoria project. On Wednesday night we talked with a group of Afghan men at the Migrant Resource Centre, and on Thursday morning we sat in on the women’s English lesson. The men told us about their journeys to Australia as refugees, and the […]


Emily Steel


Artist Residency 4 April - 25 May 2018, Creative Development 12-16 Nov 2018, Public Reading 10 March 2019, Community Engagement 16-25 Sep 2019, Tour 4 May-18 June 2020


Artist Residency / New Writing


Country Arts SA - Arts and Health & Shows on the Road program, with playwright Emily Steel


Berri, Lameroo, Whyalla, Streaky Bay, Ceduna, Mt Gambier, Bordertown and Burra. Performances across regional SA in 2020

Country Arts SA recognises and respects that we are living and creating on Aboriginal Lands and we are committed to working together to honour their living cultures.