Zac is the protagonist in the story (main character) with whom the audience can identify with. At six years of age, Zac has major problems talking to girls, one in particular, Emmy. His journey into fairyland to rescue the Princess aids as his learning process about himself and the world around him. His journey also demonstrates to the audience the natural activity of growth and development – although he is small in size, he can achieve huge things in life. This character teaches the audience to believe in themselves and search for the hero inside their own bodies.
Potty-Pants is the antagonist (the villain) in the story. Potty pants is shown as most villains are; as an inadequate person who is trying to make his life better by ruining those of others. He represents the type of person Zac would turn into if he doesn't learn to conquer his fears and learn to like himself for who he is. Potty-Pants represents Zac's alter ego that has not surfaced as of yet, but may in the future if he does not find himself during this journey. Through this journey, Zac conquers his fear of the bully Potty-Pants and successfully defeats him, learning that he can succeed if he puts his mind to it.
Every fairytale needs a maiden in distress, but Kayliana is not your typical maiden. Kaliana, although has the image of a slave girl, is actually the princess in which Zac is to rescue from Potty-Pants. Kayliana is a mythical princess from fairyland, she helps Zac on his journey and helps him to realise that there has been a hero inside of him all along. She has her own ideas about how things should go and really doesn't need to be saved because she is brave enough to face her destiny. She represents the next generation in that if she is not safe, the next generation is doomed. This reflects back into society in that children are our future. If they are not safe and out of harms way (Potty-Pants), they cannot live a normal adult-hood and have children of their own. Kaliana also shows hope for the future. She does this by showing Zac who he really is and teaching him to believe in himself. She also shows him that he can succeed in anything he does such as rescuing her; therefore he has much more hope for the future when he returns from fairyland.
Emmy is Zac's friend from school. It is because of Emmy that Zac finds the need to go on his heroic journey. Emmy makes Zac feel things that he doesn't know how to deal with, and Zac's whole journey is about realising how to deal with those feelings the right way.
The Docos act as the narrators of the story. They are a documentary team who follow Zac on his journey and provide an outrageously comedic narration to the story of Zac. Unlike most narrators, this couple are actually involved in the action of the storyline and aid in the facilitation of a well-needed actor/audience relationship. They break the boundaries (the fourth-wall), which make the audience feel more involved in the story. As well as being the information providers, they drive the plot by physically being in charge of the place and time in which the story takes place. If they want to slow the action down or change the view to Birdseye, they will without hesitation. These hilariously funny docos provide the backbone to the story of Zac the Hero.
Elga is the protector of Kayliana; she is the mother figure in this play and has hidden her from the evil Potty Pants until the time when a hero will come to fairy land. Elga represents the people of fairy land and shows how they have feared Potty Pants and waited for a hero to save them. Her caring for Kaliana shows the importance of caring and nourishing others with whom we share this world with. As well as caring for her, Elga raises Kaliana's status from slave to princess in the way she speaks of her to others. This shows the audience that Kaliana is special, not just a slave, and teaches us to look inside a person, not just to judge them by what is on the outside.
The beautiful fairies in the story aid as the catalyst for change. Zac's life is quite normal until they arrive in his room and tell him they need a hero to rescue the princess and that hero is him! By dragging Zac down the hole into fairyland without him agreeing to rescue the Princess, they physically begin his journey for him. The fairies take Zac on this journey not only rescue the princess but to rescue himself inside and find the real Zac within. Because the plot can be very serious at times and sometimes scary, the fairies also act as a comic relief tool. They always arrive at just the right time to lighten the mood and have a joke and a play around.
There are many other characters in Zac the Hero, including Penguins, Zac's Family members, Principal, Bullies, Body Parts, Fairies, Mothman, Fallings and Humbert. The other characters in the story all help to aid in Zac's journey to find himself. The all teach him many useful hints to guide him not only in this journey to rescue the Princess, but also to guide him through the rest of his life, such as building up the courage to talk to Emmy. All of the characters in this play represent the people we come across in our lives who teach us and guide us to become the person we are on the inside and to grow into successful human beings. Seeing this through a story such as Zac the Hero makes us realise that everyone of our encounters with other people, good or bad, influences who we become and that we should be thankful for such encounters.
In this game, students take turns to sit on the 'hot seat'. When on the 'hot seat', they take on a role of one of the characters from Zac the Hero as discussed in class. The other students take it in turn to ask the character on the seat questions to find out more about that character. Such questions could include: "Where do you come from?", "What are your parents names?", "Do you have any pets?". These questions would be more appropriate for younger students.
For older students, a different approach could be taken to 'hot seating'. This could be that each student who takes on a different role for each studied character is asked questions about their role and mission in the play. Such questions could include: to the character of Zac - "When you came across Potty-Pants the first time, what was going through your head?", or to the characters of the fairies - "Why did you chose Zac?". Such questions aid in discussion about the characters and the plot resulting in better understanding of the play, the characters and how it relates to us in our lives.