Contents indexed selectively.
'Creative writing doctoral students and the faculty members responsible for thesis supervision (whether we call them supervisors, mentors or supervisory panels) develop a complex relationship over the course of candidature that revolves around multiple types of text. The form that these texts take and the stage at which they are produced determine the nature of supervisory feedback, illuminating the intertwined processes leading to a finished product—the creative thesis. Some critics have postulated that creative writing postgraduate courses have taken over much of the manuscript editing that used to be done by publishing houses. Useful parallels can be drawn between the materials presented by candidates and the plethora of texts that form the basis of genetic criticism, which focuses on the stages of a manuscript’s life. Genetic criticism also engages with the principles of program and process writing as they pertain to the way in which manuscripts are constructed; they shed light on creative thesis production. Demarcating the postgraduate journey by identifying textual stages will assist supervisors and candidates in conceptualising their long-term projects as academic and artistic work, both of which can be generated through a range of processes. The ultimate goals are graduation and publication or performance.' (Publication abstract)
'Imagine if characters from Ancient Greek tragedies were detained in an Australian offshore processing centre. How can the parallels between Greek tragic plots and contemporary reality expose what Foley calls ‘a failed aspiration to civilisation’? These are the concepts at the heart of The Centre, a play exploring the research question: How can the Ancient Greek tragic tradition explore contemporary experiences of asylum seekers in detention?
'Tragic theatre is a space to challenge societal and political motivations by either reimagining or condemning the current expression of humanity. Tragedy as a genre attempts to prevent or modify behaviours that impede personal freedoms and cause irrevocable harm. The pre-polisconstruct of the hearth, or hestia in the Ancient Greek, can be viewed as an external manifestation of the innate human impulse towards connectivity and belonging; in other words Ancient Greek tragedy promotes a hestian notion that ‘to be is to belong’. This ontological positioning suggests that to be without home—without a sense of belonging—is to be without the fullness of being. In this way, a pre-polis reading of Ancient Greek tragedy positions homelessness as the most tragic condition. Detention centres, then, can be seen as a denial of home, a denial of belonging and therefore a denial of selfhood.
'The Centre has been inspired by Euripides’ The Heracleidae, The Trojan Women and Medea, and Aeschylus’ Agamemnon. The play merges the characters and storylines from these ancient texts with contemporary events to expose the current situation in Australian offshore processing centres.' (Publication abstract)
'This script was developed through a collaborative process. A work of stream-of-consciousness prose reflecting on Iced VoVos, an iconic Australian confectionery, penned by Janet McDonald constitutes the heart of the script. This piece was adapted to script form by Dallas Baker, who created characters through which Janet's prose could come to life. The explorative questions that emerged when Dallas and Janet began discussing the adaptation of the text focussed on memory and embodied experience. As the collaboratively led inducement of material developed, the period of ‘handing over’ the prose for adaptation engaged ghosting that resisted what Diana Taylor calls ‘the archive’. This is a place relegated in theatre to where performative ideas take concrete form, often as a written script that can be ‘published’, and therefore maintains an emphasis on discourse to manifest creative enterprise, rather than the lived experience of the performance of the work. What emerged from the collaboration was a script that took the prose in a different, unexpected yet intriguing, direction. This research was therefore more about exploring the relational aspects of working together. In this sense the knowledge produced by this research collaboration manifests Taylor's ‘repertoire’ (rather than ‘archive’) of performance and relates to the richness of both collaborative experience and the creative outcomes arising from that experience.' (Publication abstract)
'Jan Cohen-Cruz describes engaged performance as a dialogue between the social call of a community and the cultural response of an artist, where the overall process ‘must benefit the people whose lives inform the project’ (2). Engaged performance has ‘social justice aspirations’ (8), ‘without being dull and pragmatic’ (13); its goals are ‘aesthetic and something else’ (11). I engage with this assertion that you can have multiple aspirations for a work ‘without compromising either’ (12). Extending on Cohen-Cruz's definition of engaged performance, I suggest that the process which emerged in the Eternity project was an example of engaged playwriting.' (Preamble introduction)
'This work begins to explore a new story and encounter, and also examines the practice of scriptwriting as a creative practice, as creative writing and research. In particular this work investigates the interactive process of creating, representing multiple voices from historical texts, archival research, the researcher, the writer, the characters and the performers. It aims to contribute to the growing body of work within the academy that explores the nexus between scriptwriting as creative writing and research. While the historical researcher might be more concerned with wanting to accurately analyse and communicate information, the dramatic scriptwriter has to give consideration to aesthetic elements, as well as the multiple contributions of performances and audiences. A creative research process, about nineteenth-century shipwreck survivor Barbara Crawford's story, has therefore begun with a focus on the imagining and writing as research, not considered separately but interrogated as part of the creative process and new work.' (Publication abstract)