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Discover Australian Theatre, Film, Television, and Radio

(Status : Public)
  • Welcome to Stage and Screen on AustLit

  • This page offers an overview of the history of performance works (film, television, radio, and drama) in AustLit, search options and pre-set searches, and access to selected research projects.
  • William Reed directing 'Romance of Runnibede' (SLNSW)
  • History of Performance Texts on AustLit

  • assertion

    AustLit has a rich history of recording Australian performance works, from drama to film and television to radio.

    Our records cover the history of performance texts in Australia, from Indigenous dance and theatre works, through the importation of European theatre with the colonisation of the country, to the emerging film industry, down to modern drama and Oscar-winning films.

    AustLit records include information not only on the works and authors themselves, but also on adaptations, critical works, and reviews.

    For example, did you know that His Natural Life has been adapted at least twenty-five times, including as a graphic novel?

    Or that the first film made in Australia was produced by the Salvation Army?

    Or that another play won the Playwrights' Advisory Board Competition alongside Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, but was never as successful?

    Or that radio plays sometimes explored the audacity of crimes committed during the production of radio plays?

  • AustLit's collection of drama records began with the core Australian Drama research project, which absorbed content from AustLit director Kerry Kilner's specialist research project From Page to Stage: An Annotated Bibliography of Australian Drama.

    In 2006, the Australian Popular Theatre research project began, focusing on popular entertainment (such as vaudeville, burlesque, and pantomime) from the 1850s to the present day.

    In 2009, ScreenLit was established, building on existing film and television records to create an information-rich history of Australian film since 1900 and Australian television since 1956, as well as the careers of Australian script-writers overseas.

    In 2017, AustLit launched the Australian Drama Archive, a collection of full-text Australian plays from before the 1960s, revealing a rich tradition of Australian drama that is often overlooked.

    In addition to these specialist projects, AustLit continues to regularly index Australian theatre, film, television, and radio, building up as comprehensive a record as possible of performance works in Australia and by Australians.

  • As of 2019, AustLit records details of more than 12,000 plays, 5000 films, 1000 television series, and 1400 radio plays.

  • Looking for more information? Read all about AustLit.

  • Search for Performance Works on AustLit

  • Use the box below for a keyword search on film and television, drama, and radio works.

    Or use Advanced Search for more targeted and complex searches.

    Some popular search results have been included in the tables below.

  • Film and Television Searches

  • Drama Searches

  • Radio Searches

  • Exhibitions, Trails, and Research Projects

  • AustLit regularly collates specific subsets of our data and presents them as online exhibitions or information trails. We also support and publish research projects by AustLit staff and external researchers.

    This is only a selection of stage and screen exhibitions and trails. Find all our research projects and their association exhibitions and trails by checking AustLit's research page.

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      The Australian Drama Archive

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      Australians and Adaptation (1900-2014)

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      Players: Australian Actors

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      Australian Popular Theatre

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      Media Archives Project Database

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      A Companion to the Australian Media

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      The Crawfords Archive

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      Silent Films in Australian Newspapers

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