Dr Jane Woollard is Head of Theatre and Performance, School of Creative Arts and Media, University of Tasmania. She is a professional theatre director, playwright, researcher and teacher. Jane has directed many productions and mentored many emerging writers, performers and directors, and has made new theatre work with young people, in regional communities and in unconventional performance sites. As Artistic Director of Here Theatre since 2002, Jane has collaborated with playwright Kit Lazaroo on many award-winning theatre projects exploring the relationship between humans and non-humans. Her work as a writer-director interprets historical material and true stories, with a focus on the lives of women from the past.
Jane has worked in diverse contexts, including independent theatre, youth arts, local government and community cultural development. She has directed many productions and has mentored many emerging writers, performers, designers and directors. Before joining the University of Tasmania, Jane was a tutor and researcher at La Trobe University, a teaching director at the Victorian College of the Arts School of Drama, and from 1999–2002 was Artistic Director at Union House Theatre at the University of Melbourne. Her doctoral research investigated the life and work of Eliza Winstanley, a leading performer on the early nineteenth century Australian stage.
Jane’s play about Eliza Winstanley, Miss W Treads, was presented at La Mama Theatre in September 2017. She is the recipient of the 2016 Veronica Kelly Award (Australasian Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies Association) and a 2017 Paul Iles Award (Society for Theatre Research).
Jane’s doctorate research investigated the important contribution of Eliza Winstanley to early Australian theatre practice in Sydney and Tasmania. Her ongoing research investigates and interprets the lives and careers of prolific female performers in Australia in the 1830s and 40s. Her new play Last Night of the Season; or, The Ghosts of the Theatre Royal Olympic will be presented in the Launceston Post Office, as part of the Junction Arts Festival in September 2019.
In addition to directing over fifty productions, and her significant work as an actor trainer and community cultural development artist, Jane is the Australian reviews editor for Australasian Drama Studies, and has written feature articles and interviews for Realtime + Onscreen and Lowdown Youth Arts Magazine.