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.
Number of pages: 230
Weight: 445 g
Dimensions: 220 x 150 x 20 mm
"Susan [Bradley Smith] and Elizabeth [Schafer] are to be heartily congratulated on their scholarship, dedication and skill in putting together this work, a highly important addition to the scholarship of the Australian theatre." - Larry Buttrose
"...a highly insightful re-evaluation of cultural relations between Britain an Australia [...]this superbly edited collection will serve the research needs of theatre and postcolonial literature scholars alike. It will undoubtedly prove a reference work in Australian theatre research for years to come." in: Antipodes: A North American Journal of Australian Literature, June 2006