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y separately published work icon The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour , 1960 (Manuscript version)x400866 Z525120 1960 single work drama (taught in 11 units)

'Undoubtedly one of Australia's favourite plays, the One Day of the Year explores the universal theme of father-son conflict against the background of the beery haze and the heady, nostalgic sentimentality of Anzac Day. It is a play to make us question a standard institution - Anzac Day, the sacred cow among Australian annual celebrations - but it is the likeability and genuineness of the characters that give the play its memorable qualities: Alf, the nobody who becomes a somebody on this day of days; Mum, the anchor of the family; Hughie, their son, with all the uncertainties and rebelliousness of youth; and Wacka, the Anzac, with his simple, healing wisdom.'

(Description from publishers website)

y separately published work icon The Seed Kate Mulvany , 2007 Strawberry Hills : Currency Press , 2008 Z1151825 2007 single work drama (taught in 4 units) 'Meet Rose Maloney. Her dad Danny went to Vietnam. Her grandfather Brian is ex-IRA. Today is their collective birthday. From this intimate reunion, The Seed opens itself up over and over again until a silent family battle becomes a national story about finding new life amongst the rubble of old wars. This play has a very special kind of honesty and humour to it which sorts the great lies we buy into from the reality we live through.' (Publisher's blurb)
y separately published work icon Summer of the Seventeenth Doll Ray Lawler , 1955 London Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1957 Z522838 1955 single work drama (taught in 56 units)

'The most famous Australian play and one of the best loved, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll is a tragicomic story of Roo and Barney, two Queensland sugar-cane cutters who go to Melbourne every year during the 'layoff' to live it up with their barmaid girl friends. The title refers to kewpie dolls, tawdry fairground souvenirs, that they brings as gifts and come, in some readings of the play, to represent adolescent dreams in which the characters seem to be permanently trapped. The play tells the story in traditional well-made, realistic form, with effective curtains and an obligatory scene. Its principal appeal – and that of two later plays with which it forms The Doll Trilogy – is the freshness and emotional warmth, even sentimentality, with which it deals with simple virtues of innocence and youthful energy that lie at the heart of the Australian bush legend.

'Ray Lawler’s play confronts that legend with the harsh new reality of modern urban Australia. The 17th year of the canecutters’ arrangement is different. There has been a fight on the canefields and Roo, the tough, heroic, bushman, has arrived with his ego battered and without money. Barney’s girl friend Nancy has left to get married and is replace by Pearl, who is suspicious of the whole set-up and hopes to trap Barney into marriage. The play charts the inevitable failure of the dream of the layoff, the end of the men’s supremacy as bush heroes and, most poignantly, the betrayal of the idealistic self-sacrifice made by Roo’s girl friend Olive – the most interesting character – to keep the whole thing going. The city emerges victorious, but the emotional tone of the play vindicates the fallen bushman.'

Source: McCallum, John. 'Summer of the Seventeenth Doll.' Companion to Theatre in Australia. Ed. Philip Parson and Victoria Chance. Sydney: Currency Press , 1997: 564-656.

y separately published work icon The Seven Stages of Grieving Wesley Enoch , Deborah Mailman , Hilary Beaton , 1995 Brisbane : Playlab , 1996 Z355402 1995 single work drama (taught in 14 units)

'This is a proud milestone in Australian theatre history; a contemporary Indigenous performance text from the highly acclaimed Kooemba Jdarra. Appropriating western forms whilst using traditional storytelling, it gives emotional insight into Murri life. This one-woman show follows the journey of an Aboriginal ‘Everywoman’ as she tells poignant and humorous stories of grief and reconciliation. A powerful, demanding and culturally profound text, The 7 Stages of Grieving is a celebration of Indigenous survival, an invitation to grieve publicly, a time to exorcize pain. It has a universal theme told through the personal experiences of one incredible character.'

Source: Publisher's blurb (Playlab).

y separately published work icon Collected Plays : Volume I Patrick White , Sydney : Currency Press , 1985 Z60895 1985 selected work drama (taught in 19 units)
y separately published work icon Plays of the 60s : Volume 1 Katharine Brisbane (editor), Sydney : Currency Press , 1998 Z1174230 1998 anthology drama (taught in 2 units)

'This collection includes: The Well (1960) by Jack McKinney, a rustic comedy in the Steele Rudd tradition set in Queensland; Burst of Summer (1960) by Oriel Gray is a realist play dealing with racial prejudice and is based on the brief success of the Aboriginal actress Ngarla Kunoth, who played Jedda in the Chauvel film; The Season at Sarsaparilla (1962), Patrick White's poetic satire examining the inevitable cycle of birth, copulation and death; White called it a 'charade of suburbia'; and The Promised Woman by Theodore Patrikareas which had its first stage production in Sydney in 1963 and is possibly the first play by a post-war immigrant staged in Australia. The play portrays migrants adapting to their new country and finding new identities and was adapted for the screen in 1974. (1 act, 2 women)' (Publication summary)

Australian Drama Katharine Brisbane , 1976 single work (taught in 1 units)
— Appears in: The Literature of Australia 1976; (p. 248-289)

Description

This course aims to provide students with an introduction to some of the major developments in Australian drama and theatre in the twentieth century. Works by Seymour, Lawler, White, Kenna, Hewett, Buzo, Nowra, Williamson, Romeril, Hibberd, Gow and Davis will be studied both theoretically and practically. The plays chosen represent the wide range of subject matter and theatrical form that is evident in the modern Australian dramatic repertoire. In order to contextualise the plays studied, some examination will be given to more important elements of the stage history of Australia covering the last 50 years.

On the satisfying the requirements of this course students should be able to

express in an oral and written form the major historical developments in Australian drama since the 1950's.

identify and critically analyse key themes in modern Australian drama.

undertake research to explore conceptual ideas related to Australian theatre.

make appropriate performance methodology choices for performance of selected texts.

apply theoretical and empirical data in performance.

Assessment

Two 2,000 word essays (25% each), and workshop and tutorial contribution and performance (50%).

Other Details

Offered alternately with DRAM2010 Design and the Theatre

Offered in: 2010, 2008
Levels: Undergraduate
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