Articles on Australian Theatre

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Andrew Bovell’s adaptation of Kate Grenville’s The Secret River is a key example of post-Apology theatre. AAP Image/Heidrun Löhr

Beyond Sorry: colonial oppression on Australian stages

It's been seven years since Kevin Rudd delivered his apology to Indigenous Australians. On Australia's stages dramatists continue to explore the ramifications of that apology and colonial history.
Onstage at the JC Williamson Theatre Royal in Sydney in 1935. Are we treating our playwrights any better than we did then? Wikimedia Commons

Australian plays: how to persuade a nation to question its own soul?

Playwriting occupies a weak position in Australian culture because its historical role is not to be "good", but to be socially acceptable. We need now to take a modern attitude to drama.
Duncan Graham’s 2010 play Cut does not reveal itself as a traditional play does – but it’s a powerful demonstration of the evolution of theatrical storytelling. Garry Cockburn

Playwriting doesn’t get better or worse – but it does evolve

Drama involves an altered representation of reality – and the way we understand both the representations and the reality evolve. Duncan Graham's recent play Cut shows how significantly those understandings change.
A national theatre would help showcase Australian drama past and present, such as A Long Way Home, a collaboration between the Sydney Theatre Company and the Australian Defence Force. AAP Image/Sydney Theater Company/Lisa Tomasetti

A National Theatre of Australia is needed, and it’s time

Sociologist Max Weber once called politics “the slow boring of hard boards”. If he had been in the arts he might have added, “using your head as a drill”. Australia’s cultural agenda often feels like an…
When it comes to analysing culture, numbers only tell part of the story. Ken Douglas

Theatre companies don’t produce numbers – they produce shows

Around 89,960. That’s the number of meals we can expect to eat if we live to the age of 82. Take an average of men and women’s life expectancies (79.9 + 84.3 ÷ 2), x 3 meals a day, x 365 days a year…

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