Rankin spent the first 16 years of his life on his family's boat which was moored on Sydney's Rozelle Bay. After leaving school he spent a year at the Sydney College of the Arts before moving to Tasmania where he began work on an unemployment project at Burnie. He started writing plays about local issues such as the downgrading of the Burnie pulp mill and the effect unemployment had on the town. Rankin has become known for his work in comedy, mainstream theatre, experimental community based projects, film and television. His work has been included in Tasmania, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Edinburgh Festivals and his plays have set box office records. Rankin has also provided expertise in community cultural development, project design, writing, directing and editing
Rankin divides his time between writing for commercial productions and working with non-profit organisations (such as BIG hART) which seek to promote social change through artistic collaboration within communities. In 1992 Scott Rankin and John Bakes established BIG hART Inc and since then Rankin has initiated, mentored and/or created over 20 productions for BIG hART - working primarily with disadvantaged people in regional, rural and isolated areas of Australia.
Source: Jane Albert, 'The Rankin File', The Weekend Australian 1-2 February 2003: R16-17; Regional Arts NSW website, http://www.regionalartsnsw.com.au (Sighted: 28/03/2007)
Nothing Rhymes with Ngapartji2010single work film/TV 'Nothing Rhymes with Ngapartji, follows the journey of acclaimed Pitjantjatjara actor, Trevor Jamieson, as he returns to his traditional country to perform his hit theatre show - 'Ngapartji Ngapartji' - to an all-Indigenous audience, in the remote Australian aboriginal community of Ernabella, South Australia.
Trevor has struggled to hold onto language and culture while living away from his traditional country. 'Ngapartji Ngapartji' is a live theatre performance in two languages. But usually the audience is fluent in English not Pitjantjatjara. 2500km from the recent 5 weeks sell-out Sydney Festival season, against the magnificent backdrop of Australia's central desert Trevor is preparing to face his toughest audience yet.
The film follows the Ngapartji Ngapartji team's journey to Ernabella and performance of their acclaimed show in situ. It is terrible timing for Trevor; whose father, a central character in the stage show, passed away only weeks before. Not only does Trevor have to confront his grief in order to deliver the performance, in doing so he has to grapple with the decision to risk breaking traditional law by saying his father's name, acting the part of him, and showing footage of him as part of the show. Is Trevor going to get a knock on the head?
Trevor's family story is one of struggle & survival. Beginning in the 1950's Trevor's grandfather witnessed British atomic testing spread sickness throughout his land; the performance follows three generations of an Aboriginal family as they grapple with becoming refugees in their own country.
Elders in Ernabella have their own memories of the Maralinga bombs, and Trevor knows that the Ngapartji Ngapartji show will be a potent reminder of what people have not talked about for a long time.
As excitement builds amongst the company and the community about performing for an indigenous audience in Ernabella, so too the trepidation builds in Trevor, as he fears the consequences of performing a story so close to his own heart.
Will Trevor's resolve be his own undoing?' Source: www.nothingrhymeswithngapartji.com/ Sighted 13/05/2011).
NamatjiraNamatjira / Ngapartji Ngapartji : Two Plays by Scott Rankin
2010single work drama 'Albert Namatjira was a man of firsts: the first successful indigenous artist and the first indigenous man to be made an Australian citizen. At the height of his fame in the 1950s Albert Namatjira's shows sold out within minutes. If you didn't own one of his paintings you probably had a print in your lounge room.
'He also supported over six hundred members of his community, lost two of his ten children to malnutrition, was forbidden to own land, imprisoned for having a drink with his friends, and died a broken man.
'Namatjira is a whole-hearted tribute to a great man. (From the publisher's website.)