I received assistance from a great many people during the writing of this book. The majority of the work was completed while on a post-doctoral fellowship at La Trobe University 2008–12, though some Hunter Valley Theatre Company interviews were conducted with an early career researcher grant from the University of Newcastle 1999–2000. I am grateful to Peta Tait and the late Geoffrey Milne for their encouragement and supervision, and to the Badiou Reading Group for stimulating sessions on the writings of Alain Badiou. It was only through the determined efforts of John Baylis, Director of the Theatre Board at the Australia Council, that I was granted access to the Australian Nouveau Theatre’s Council files. I am grateful to all Council staff who assisted in the time-consuming process of file recovery. My thanks to Gillian Arrighi, who alerted me to the discovery of the Hunter Valley Theatre Company archives, and arranged access on site in Newcastle. Thank you to the Seaborn, Broughton and Walford Archives for making available the Wolanski press folders. I am indebted to all my interviewees, who spoke so eloquently of their experiences, and to Ruth Bereson, Judith Pugh, Victor Emeljanow, Neil Pigot, Meredith Rogers, Rob Conkie, Robert Reid, and my current Flinders colleagues for lively conversations about Australian theatre and Australian cultural policy.

I am deeply grateful to my editor, Denise Varney, whose support, encouragement and careful critical eye made the last stages of a difficult process more bearable and productive. Ben Brooker and Elizabeth Weeks kindly assisted with the manuscript, while Jenny Fewster at AusStage checked repertoire data and drew up the pages of AusStage hyperlinks which aim to be of use to future researchers. The photographs in the book were kindly provided by William Yang, the University of Newcastle Library, Branco Gaica, Wendy Joseph, La Mama Theatre and Jeff Busby. Jeff spent hours making careful selections for me from his extensive photographic archive. To say his help was invaluable is a woeful understatement. Finally, I’d like to thank the editorial team at Brill for their deft and sensitive help in the publication process.

When you write the history of three theatre companies you risk making three times the number of mistakes. As the book was nearing completion, Jim Sharman read the chapter on the Paris Theatre, Dave Watt the chapter on the Hunter Valley Theatre Company, and Julie Forsyth, Gabrielle Baker and Katharine Sturak the chapters on the Australian Nouveau Theatre. Their detailed feedback, sometimes over successive drafts, has allowed me to avoid many errors of fact and interpretation. The ones that remain are my own.

Australian Theatre after the New Wave

Policy, Subsidy and the Alternative Artist