As Professor Anne Pender notes in her introduction to this collection,
The Australian theatre, television and film industries are dynamic and creative in ways that could never have been imagined half a century ago. Since the 1950s these industries have expanded and demonstrated extraordinary vitality. Our vibrant Australian performing arts industry would not exist in its current form without the creative contribution of actors. Actors are the public face of the performing arts, carrying the immediate responsibility for the success of each show. Yet they are sometimes left out of theatre history.
These fifteen biographical essays by Anne Pender trace the careers of significant Australian actors of the stage, television, and film.
(Image credit: Tony Sheldon in I Hate Hamlet at the Marian Street Theatre in 1992, via Players.)
Supported by Australian Research Council Discovery DP130101455, 'Media Transformation in its Australian and International Contexts: Analysis and Theory-building', and built under the guidance of chief investigator Professor Tom O'Regan, this exhibition begins to map the extent to which Australian film and television relies on material adapted from other sources.
From adaptations in the era of silent film, to BBC radio dramas, to works that have been adapted a score of times, this exhibition explores our fascination with transferring works from the page to the screen.
Under construction in 2017 and built collaboratively by The University of Queensland and the University of New England, with support from the Ian Potter Foundation, the AustLit Australian Drama Archive aims to digitise a collection of Australian plays from the twentieth century and bring them to life again through publication, production, and new research.
Plays drawn from the Hanger Collection at UQ and the Campbell Howard Collection are UNE will be progressively digitised and made available through AustLit.
(Image credit: section of Alfred Gilbert's 'Comedy and Tragedy', 1891. Reproduced via Wikimedia Commons.)
Part of BlackWords' rich collection of information trails on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writing and storytelling, 'Noongar Theatre and Film' focuses on performance texts from Noongar practitioners, from Shakespearean sonnets in Noongar language to theatre companies and practitioners.
(Image credit: cropped version of the promotional poster for ~Rabbit-Proof Fence's Australian release.)
The Writer in Australian Television History collection is a research outcome of Dr Catriona Mills's 2012 AFI Research Collection (AFIRC) Research Fellowship. Representing a subset of the archives held in the AFI Research Collection at RMIT, The Writer in Australian Television History is a collection of enhanced AustLit records for 318 episodes of Crawfords’ radio dramas and television series, spanning the period from 1953 to 1977.
The 318 scripts examined for this project include episodes from the following eight programs: The Crime Club (1953-1954), Homicide (1964-1977), Hunter (1967-1969), Division 4 (1969-1975), Matlock Police (1970-1975), Ryan (1973-1974), Solo One (1976), and Bluey (1976-1977).
(Image credit: '"Division 4" Packs in the Action', Australian Women's Weekly, 19 May 1971, p.13.)
Researched and compiled by AustLit intern Saskia Stegman, 'The Manuscripts of Dorothy Blewett: A Textual Comparison of The First Joanna' traces the development of the play from its pre-war beginnings to its final, powerfully post-war form.
'The Manuscripts of Dorothy Blewett' is the first in a series of coming exhibitions, digitisations, and other rich content planned for AustLit's Australian Drama Archive.
(Image credit: portrait of Dorothy Blewett, from the Blewett papers held by AustLit.)
Part of a collection of exhibitions produced by AustLit for the centenary of World War I, 'Film and the War. from 1914 to 2014' explores the ways in which the First World War has been represented on Australian cinema screens, from the earliest days of the war to the flurry of screen projects released to mark the centenary of, first, the war itself and, second, the Gallipoli campaign.
(Image credit: cropped version of a publicity poster for The Water Diviner's Australian release.)
Part of a collection of exhibitions produced by AustLit for the centenary of World War I, Professional and Post-War Digger Entertainment (1916-1935) explores the ex-servicemen who toured the vaudeville circuits as entertainers, first largely wounded men and then, after the end of the war and demobilisation, professional companies.
(Image credit: courtesy of the family of George Jennings, via Helen Hutchieson.)
Between 1906 and 1930, Australia produced over 200 silent films–an enormous output for a nascent industry in a relatively small population. In creating AustLit records for these films, researchers noted the wealth of marketing material in contemporary newspapers, from elaborate advertisements to publicity stills and actors' headshots.
This exhibition gathers together the kind of marketing material that is often ephemeral and forgotten, showcasing the marketing of Australian films in the early days of the industry.
(Image credit: a colourised image of actress Renée Adorée, then acting in Goldwyn Pictures, taken c.1922. Reproduced from Wikimedia Commons.)
Over one hundred years on from the birth of Australian film-making, many early Australian films are lost or forgotten. This exhibition gathers together six films and one trailer from the Internet Archive, allowing modern viewers to watch Raymond Longford's classic The Sentimental Bloke (1919), see Fatty Finn win a goat race in The Kid Stakes (1927), or witness the slapstick Ruritanian romance His Royal Highness (1932).
(Image credit: a promotional poster for the 1944 film The Rats of Toobruk. This poster is from the American release, and uses the alternate American title for the film.)