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Issue Details: First known date: 2019... no. 74 May 2019 of Australasian Drama Studies est. 1982 Australasian Drama Studies
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'It may be a form of dramaturgical or scholarly magical thinking that leads me to seek patterns and connecting threads in ten articles published in a general issue of an academic journal. For there need be none. A general issue demands a different curatorial approach to that of a special issue with a focus on a particular theme, subject or question. The editor calls for submissions, evaluates those submissions primarily according to one’s judgement of that nebulous and contested criteria of ‘quality’. They send drafts to peer reviewers, and make final decisions based (again) on the ‘quality’ of re-drafts, and on available space.' (Yoni Prior : Editorial introduction)


  • Only literary material by Australian authors individually indexed. Other material in this issue includes:  

    Playing the Edinburgh lottery: Six decades of New Zealand theatre at the Edinburgh festival fringe - James Wenley

    The veil of queer aesthetics: Lindsay Kemp and the subtext of gay desire in Oscar Wilde's 'Salome' - Gerrard Carter

    Review of: New media dramaturgy: Performance, media and new-materialism, by Peter Eckersall, Helena Grehan and Edward Scheer - Glenn D'Cruz

    Review of: Applied theatre: Economies - Hazou, Rand

    Review of I have loved me a man: The life and times of mika - Stuart Young


* Contents derived from the 2019 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
The NDIS and Disability Arts in Australia : Opportunities and Challenges, Bree Hadley , Gerard Goggin , single work criticism

'In Australia, disabled people's participation in the arts has historically been afforded by means of direct-to-organisation grants that arts, community services or disability services arms of government award to arts organisations, charities or disability service organisations, who then deliver programmes. The introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is creating wide-reaching changes for disability arts practice in Australia. We undertake a first step in addressing the need for research into how the NDIS will alter the landscape of disability arts practice in Australia. We highlight a set of questions that all performing and creative arts industry stakeholders will need to respond to, in order to ensure that the excellent work done in disability arts in Australia to date can continue in the new climate that the NDIS brings.'  (Publication abstract)

(p. 9-38)
Verbatim Theatre and a Dramaturgy of Belonging, Sarah Peters , single work criticism

'The process of creating verbatim theatre often involves interviewing a community of storytellers, documenting these conversations and using the stories to inform the creative development of a play. These practices prompt the act of personal storytelling, and the material generated in a verbatim theatre process often includes the core features of belonging, such as identity narratives, people making sense of their experiences and discursively identifying their sense of self and how they belong in their community. I suggest that these features, in combination with the common verbatim conventions of direct address and diegetic theatricality, form a dramaturgy of belonging. I propose a dramaturgy of belonging and suggest that the sense of community belonging experienced by audiences is a direct result of the practice of community immersion and interviewing in a verbatim theatre process.'  (Publication abstract)

(p. 39-63)
A West End Celebrity Proselytises the Bonds of Empire : Seymour Hicks and Bruce Bairnsfather's 'Old Bill' in 1920s Australia, Veronica Kelly , single work criticism
'In 1924 the prominent and influential British West End actor-writer-producer Seymour Hicks and his wife Ellaline Terriss toured in Australia in their hits The Man in Dress Clothes and Broadway Jones. More significantly, Hicks undertook the dual roles of actor and imperial advocate for class reconciliation in the context of Australia's post-war industrial unrest. As such, he is neither the first nor last British actor to combine theatrical popularity with cultural diplomacy. His most significant Australian production is the comedy-drama 'Old Bill, MP' (premiered London 1922), based on the graphic artist Bruce Bairnsfather's popular wartime figure of the stoic infantry-man. I compare 'Old Bill, MP' with the stage and screen hits featuring similar Australian military figures of working-class resilience and leadership: C.J. Dennis's Ginger Mick and Ken Hall's 1940 film of Steele Rudd's Dad Rudd, MP.'

 (Publication abstract)

(p. 64-97)
Visions of Restorative Justice in Theatre, Theory and Practice, Paul Dwyer , J. R. Martin , single work criticism
''Restorative justice' is often used as an umbrella term for a range of processes - including victim-offender mediation, youth justice conferencing and circle sentencing - through which legal reformers have sought to move away from a retributive model of justice, to encourage offenders to take more responsibility for their actions, to offer victims a voice that is often lacking in courtroom proceedings, and to promote reintegration of offenders into a community of care. With a view to offering a sympathetic critique of restorative justice theory, we read David Williamson's trilogy of 'docudramas' ('Face to Face, A Conversation' and 'Charitable Intent') against the observations of fieldwork carried out in the New South Wales juvenile justice system. This comparative analysis shows how Williamson's representation of restorative justice aligns better with the sort of ideal-typical descriptions of practice that restorative justice practitioners offer in their training manuals than it does with actual practice.' 

 (Publication abstract)

(p. 98-128)
Breathtaking Performance: 'A Room with No Air's' Exhaustive Aesthetics of Holocaust Memory, Bryoni Trezise , single work criticism

'What is the place of Jewish Holocaust memory in the context of a decolonising Australia? Can Holocaust memory model a possibility of responsiveness to the broader memory cultures in which it occurs? This article begins with the call for a 'radical democratic politics' of memory offered by Michael Rothberg, which 'does not entail a removal of Holocaust memory from the public sphere, but rather a decentering of its abstract, reified form' (2011: 540). In a discussion of the Australian contemporary performance work 'a room with no air', which premiered at Sydney's Performance Space in 2001, this article contemplates the archive of recent Australian theatre history to explore how questions of collective responsibility might be modelled by a re-staging of German- Jewish intergenerational legacies.' (Publication abstract)

(p. 129-160)
Toward an Ethical Practice : Child Performers in Contemporary Performance for Adult Audiences, Sarah Austin , single work criticism

'This article responds to the recent and rapid rise in the practice, within contemporary theatre-making, of creating new performance work for adult audiences featuring children as performers and collaborators. Within this work there is a tension between the desire for a representation of the authentic voice and lived experience of the child performer and the poetic function of the performance. This question of the place of authenticity in work dogs much performance work created by professional artists with children for adult audiences and can shape the way artists approach the rehearsal process with child performers. I examine the creative and aesthetic strategies of creating work with child performers, and consider the pedagogical frames of actor practice that underpin this process, asking what an ethical dramaturgy for contemporary performance with children for adult audiences might look like.'  (Publication abstract)

(p. 189-216)
Creating Feminine/ist Theatre : Ecriture Feminine as a Framework for Directors, Laura Hartnell , single work criticism

'This article argues that when actors and directors use an 'affect-first' approach to performance, they are able to build an alternative semiotic that allows distinctly feminine/ist meaning to be created in the rehearsal room and shared in performance. This feminine/ist strategy for meaning- creation requires makers to feel first and think second, thus problematising the patriarchal Cartesian hierarchies of mind/body, and opening a space for affect and the body to be centralised in the creation of on-stage meaning. Using Fraught Outfit's 2012-13 production of 'Persona' as a case study, I contend that working at the intersections of feminist theatre theory, affect theory and 'ecriture feminine' allows feminine/ist theatre-makers to signify a broader and deeper range of meaning in and with the female body than otherwise possible with an approach that prioritises traditional theatre semiotics.'  (Publication abstract)

(p. 217-242)
Ranters : Rehearsal and Development Process - How Is the Text Enacted?, Raimondo Cortese , single work criticism

'The article analyses the processes in which my postdramatic plays and performance texts, such as 'St Kilda Tales, Roulette, Holiday' and 'Intimacy', are enacted in order to facilitate live interaction in relation to the audience. The application of everyday aesthetics within narrative and dramaturgical structures provides the performers of a Ranters production with a platform to focus on the moment-to-moment minutiae of actions that take place between them. In the theatre of the everyday that I describe in this essay, the audience members are invited into the same conceptual space and time as the performers, one that sits in the blurred lines between the fictive and the real. Notions of character are completely avoided, and instead the focus is on exploring and realising the possibilities that can be theatricalised by a fluid and open expression of 'self.' (Publication abstract)

(p. 243-263)
[Review] The Ripples before the New Wave: Drama at the University of Sydney 1957-63, Melanie Beddie , single work review
'This book, written by Robyn Dalton (née Waterhouse) and Laura Ginters, is a detailed chronicle of a significant time in Australian theatre history. It is published by Currency Press and once again demonstrates how crucial this press is to the documentation and advancement of the theatrical landscape in Australia. The authors both have a strong connection with the University of Sydney. Robyn Dalton was a student there during the period covered in the book and participated in many productions with various groups across the campus. Dr Laura Ginters lectures in the Department of Performance Studies at Sydney University as well as working as a dramaturg and translator.' 


(p. 291-296)
[Review] Australian Theatre, Modernism and Patrick White : Governing Culture, Jonathan Bollen , single work review
'Australian Theatre, Modernism and Patrick White: Governing Culture, by Denise Varney and Sandra D’Urso, is a significant and unusual book. Studies of Australian playwrights are no longer published with the frequency and focus they once were. The Australian Playwrights series (now edited by Varney at Brill) began with a series of monographs on the playwrights of the ‘New Wave’. Since the mid-1990s, as the emphasis of research shifted towards performance, the series has extended beyond playwrights to include production histories, companies and venues, actors, directors and industry sectors.'


(p. 296-302)
[Review] Robert Helpmann : The Many Faces of a Theatrical Dynamo, Gretel Taylor , single work review
'Robert Helpmann: The Many Faces of a Theatrical Dynamo supplements the three existing biographies of Helpmann with its variety of authors’ perspectives, which afford reflection upon a rich period of twentieth-century theatre and dance, with Helpmann as protagonist. This collection of essays and interviews, deriving from a symposium held by the Royal Ballet School in 2013, celebrate a remarkable performer with amazing range and a prodigious international career of accomplishments across ballet, theatre and film, as dancer, actor, director and choreographer. The volume is dedicated to the late David Drew, who ‘ardently wished to see Helpmann’s ballets re-staged and his theatrical genius re-discovered by a younger generation’ (xvii). If this were the aim of this book – to share the legacy of this Australian-born star of stage and screen with a younger generation of performance viewers/ consumers/ practitioners – I am doubtful whether it would achieve the stated goal. The book offers some very interesting chapters and a lot of beautiful photographs, but with this appeal to new readers and  viewers in mind, I did hope that the editors would focus their reflections through contemporary performance discourse and go further to draw out Helpmann’s legacy through the lens of now.' 


(p. 319-324)

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Last amended 20 Jun 2019 09:17:54