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Australian Drama (THE2005)
Semester 1 / 2012


y separately published work icon Don's Party David Williamson , 1971 1971 (Manuscript version)x402002 Z1505961 1971 single work drama satire (taught in 17 units)
y separately published work icon Inside the Island / The Precious Woman Louis Nowra , Sydney : Currency Press , 1981 Z239348 1981 selected work drama (taught in 2 units)
y separately published work icon Norm and Ahmed Alex Buzo , 1960-1968 (Manuscript version)x401337 Z342308 1960 single work drama (taught in 3 units)
— Appears in: ノームとアーメッド /​ アレクサンダー.ブ-ゾ 他 1993;

'A rather ocker, white Australian male encounters a well-mannered Pakistani student with revolutionary ambitions in a Sydney park at midnight. Buzo creates an image of race prejudice as a profoundly irrational force in the behaviour of ordinary Australians.' (Publication summary)

y separately published work icon Eating Ice Cream With Your Eyes Closed David Brown , 2002 Fortitude Valley : Playlab , 2004 Z1134746 2002 single work drama humour (taught in 2 units) A bus terminal in a country town in the middle of the night, where three unlikely companions are thrown together by circumstance. Macca, Dayne and Doug are as different as ... well, vanilla, strawberry and chocolate ice cream. But in one extraordinary night of drinking, talking and fighting, they find their common ground.
y separately published work icon The Cherry Pickers Kevin Gilbert , 1968 1968 (Manuscript version)x401069 Z245424 1968 single work drama (taught in 4 units)

"When the cold August wind abated in its final sigh of emergence from the lean, hard winter months into springtime, the People emerged from the cold, and often leaky shanties, and old discarded car-bodies, which were their home, to gather together their few ragged possessions and tie them in bundles ready for traveling to the cherry orchards, often many hundreds of miles away. Many would travel by bicycle with their swags swinging crazily from the frames; many traveled in old tattered caravans drawn by horses; many just walked beside the caravans through the red sandhill and mallee country, while the more daring 'jumped the rattler', the slow old steam train that chugged across the land.

Wherever the people gathered there too was a spirit of revival, of intense relief, for the "cherry season" meant a temporary release from near starvation. In a good season it could mean some old debts would be repaid. It meant food and toys for the children for the forthcoming Christmas season and, above all, it meant some independence, some freedom, from under the crucifying heels of the local police and the white 'station' managers; an escape from the refugee camps called 'Aboriginal Reserves'. The cherry season was the time for hope, for meeting old friends and relatives, for laughing and for making love. The Cherry Pickers tells it all.' Source: (Sighted: 12/4/2009).

y separately published work icon The Female of the Species Joanna Murray-Smith , 2006 Strawberry Hills : Currency Press , 2008 Z1292339 2006 single work drama humour (taught in 3 units)

'Thirty years ago Margot Mason, pioneer of the 1970s Women's Liberation movement and fearless academic, wrote her groundbreaking work and numerous best-sellers followed. Now she has writer's block. Molly, an unannounced visitor and committed fan of Margot and her work, offers a potential solution - until Molly produces a gun and calmly informs Margot that she intends to kill her because she blames her for warping her mother's mind and ruining her life with her hit book The Cerebral Vagina.

'Joanna Murray-Smith's deliciously wicked comedy deftly walks the tightrope between satire and farce proving the female of the species is not only deadlier, but funnier than the male.

This play 'was inspired by Germaine Greer's experience of being held captive in her country house in Essex in 2000'. (Publisher's blurb)

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 Songket [and] This Territory : Two Plays Noëlle Janaczewska , Strawberry Hills : Currency Press , 2008 Z1498016 2008 selected work drama (taught in 2 units)
y separately published work icon Love Me Tender : Inspired by Euripides' Iphigenia in Aulis Tom Holloway , 2010 Sydney : Currency Press , 2010 Z1627311 2010 single work drama (taught in 2 units)

'On an expectant stage - a dreamscape of an Australian backyard - five actors tease out the story of a father and daughter. They question each other, they watch each other, they confess, they draw each other along. By the end of the story, modern life has been engulfed in fire, and a tale of pure love has become a tragedy of leadership and sacrifice.

'Love Me Tender is a play of beauty and emotional power. Inspired by Euripides' Iphigenia in Aulis, Tom Holloway has orchestrated a thrilling vision of contemporary Australia drawn from our experiences of the Black Saturday bushfires, of raunch culture and pre-teen sexuality, and of our domestic rituals. This is exquisite writing about our fears and expectations of fathers, about the extremities of love, and about the need for action when the world comes undone.'

Source: Belvoir Street Theatre website,
Sighted: 22/09/2009

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)
— Appears in: アボリジニ戯曲選 : ストールン; 嘆きの七段階 2001;

'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 Ruben Guthrie Brendan Cowell , 2005 Sydney : Currency Press , 2009 Z1608267 2005 single work drama humour (taught in 2 units)

'Ruben Guthrie is on fire. At only 29, he is Creative Director of a cutting edge advertising agency, lives with his Czech supermodel fiancé and drinks like he invented it. Ruben seems invincible, until one fated evening when he drinks so much vodka he thinks he can fly. Before Ruben knows it his fiancé has left him, his Mum is escorting him to AA meetings and his bottomless schooner of confidence has all but drained away. For the first time in his life, Ruben Guthrie is alone.'

Sighted: 22/04/2008

y separately published work icon Myth, Propaganda and Disaster in Nazi Germany and Contemporary America : A Drama in 30 Scenes Stephen Sewell , Sydney Melbourne : Currency Press Playbox Theatre , 2003 Z1037273 2003 single work drama (taught in 3 units)
y separately published work icon The Serpent's Teeth : Two Plays Daniel Keene , Strawberry Hills : Currency Press , 2008 Z1491078 2008 selected work drama (taught in 2 units)

'Citizens is set at the dividing wall of an unspecified war-torn country where a series of unconnected exchanges between ordinary people transpire as they go about their day-to-day lives. A picture of life is revealed in the fragments of the interchanges between vulnerable people where the human spirit is carefully probed and laid bare.

'Soldiers is set in an air force hangar in Sydney, where family members gather to receive the bodies of their sons, brothers, husbands and friends lost in a conflict that they may not have supported.'

Source: Production blurbs (Kings Cross Theatre production).

y separately published work icon Plays Alex Buzo , Jack Hibberd , John Romeril , Harmondsworth Ringwood : Penguin , 1970 Z826268 1970 anthology drama (taught in 1 units)
y separately published work icon When the Rain Stops Falling Andrew Bovell , 2008 Strawberry Hills : Currency Press , 2009 Z1430823 2008 single work drama (taught in 8 units)

'It begins with a miracle. On a rainy day in Alice Springs in 2039 a fish falls like manna from heaven to bless the reunion of a father with his long lost son. Perhaps it's a sign that the pattern of betrayal and abandonment that began on another rainy day in London in 1959 will come to an end.

'Who'll stop the rain? Andrew Bovell's award-winning When the Rain Stops Falling is powerful storytelling in which the voices of our past echo into our future.' (Publisher's blurb)


This course is structured to survey the multi-faceted nature and the development of Australian drama and theatre since the beginning of white settlement. Historically, the course will focus on the drama and theatre of the mid to the late 20th century, but will refer to earlier times in tracing the development of a recurring theme in Australian drama, that of identity. The course commences with an overview of Australian theatre at the beginning of the 21st century and an exploration of a contemporary play. In subsequent modules, students will be introduced to some of the earlier social, political, economic and artistic elements and key writers who have shaped Australian drama and its theatre. The course attempts to represent a diversity of "voices" in Australian drama, and will draw upon plays, reviews and other secondary materials to explore various relevant socio-political and economic issues as they relate to identification. Within this exploration, the performative possibilities of the plays will be emphasised.





Other Details

Offered in: 2010
Current Campus: Toowoomba