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Playing Australia

Australian theatre and the international stage


Edited by Elizabeth Schafer and Susan Bradley Smith

Playing Australia explores the insights and challenges that Australian theatre can offer the international theatre community. Collectively, the essays in this book ask what Australian drama is, has been, and might be, both to Australians and non-Australians, when it is performed in national and international arenas. Playing Australia ranges widely in its discussions and includes analysis of Australian practitioners playing away from home; playing with Australian stereotypes; and the relationship between play, culture, politics and national identity.
Topics addressed in this diverse collection include: whiteness, otherness and negotiations of Aboriginal and Asian identities; Australian school and college drama; the discourse of Australian professional theatre magazines: Aboriginal Shakespeare; Australian drama and Australian cricket; the marketing of Australianness in Germany; the international successes of Tap Dogs and Cloudstreet. New histories of Australian theatre are offered and practitioners whose careers are reconsidered in detail include high wire-walker Ella Zuila, playwright May Holt, suffrage worker and playwright Inez Bensusan, classicist Gilbert Murray, and commercial playwright Haddon Chambers.
With contributions from authors as diverse as Guardian theatre critic Michael Billington and leading post-colonial critic Helen Gilbert, and interview discussion with Cate Blanchett and Tap Dogs producer Wayne Harrison, Playing Australia seeks to pay tribute to the complexities of Australian theatre experiences, to reassess Australian theatre as a significant force in the international arena and to challenge traditional thinking on what Australian theatre can be.


Edited by Veronica Kelly

AUSTRALIAN THEATRE in the 1990s is a vigorous enterprise displaying the energies and contradictions of a multicultural society. This collection of essays by leading scholars of Australian theatre and drama surveys the emergence and directions of the new theatrical energies which have challenged or redefined the Australian 'mainstream': Aboriginal, multicultural, Asian-Australian, women's, gay and lesbian, community and young people's theatre; and charts the exciting growth of physical theatre. The contributors assess the impact of evolving funding and industrial priorities, and examine the theoretical and cultural debates surrounding Australian playwriting and theatre-making from the 1970s Vietnam dramas to the postmodern present.

Unforeseeable Americas

Questioning Cultural Hybridity in the Americas


Edited by Rita de Grandis and Zilà Bernd


Edited by Marcia Blumberg and Dennis Walder

One of the most striking features of cultural life in South Africa has been the extent to which one area of cultural practice - theatre - has more than any other testified to the present condition of the country, now in transition between its colonial past and a decolonized future. But in what sense and how far does the critical force of theatre in South Africa as a mode of intervention continue?
In the immediate post-election moment, theatre seemed to be pursuing an escapist, nostalgic route, relieved of its historical burden of protest and opposition. But, as the contributors to this volume show, new voices have been emerging, and a more complex politics of the theatre, involving feminist and gay initiatives, physical theatre, festival theatre and theatre-for-education, has become apparent.
Both new and familiar players in South African theatre studies from around the world here respond to or anticipate the altered conditions of the country, while exploring the notion that theatre continues to 'intervene.' This broad focus enables a wide and stimulating range of approaches: contributors examine strategies of intervention among audiences, theatres, established and fledgling writers, canonical and new texts, traditional and innovative critical perspectives. The book concludes with four recent interviews with influential practitioners about the meaning and future of theatre in South Africa: Athol Fugard, Fatima Dike, Reza de Wet, and Janet Suzman.