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THE2005 Australian Drama

Semester 1, 2012 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Arts
School or Department : School of Creative Arts

Contents on this page


Examiner: Janet McDonald
Moderator: Darryl Chalk

Other requisites

It is strongly suggested that students attempt this course after completing THE1001 and THE1002.


This course is designed 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 since 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 historical overview of Australian theatre and concludes at the beginning of the 21st century with an exploration of contemporary theatre. Throughout the course, students will study some of the 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, articles and other secondary materials to explore various relevant socio-political and economic issues as they relate to identification. Within this exploration, the dramatic and thematic aspects of the plays will be emphasised.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. a comprehensive academic and professional analysis of the history of theatre in Australia since 1788 with a particular emphasis on the period post-1955;
  2. the application of written communication skills in the study of particular plays, theories, theatre practitioners and cultural diversity in Australian theatre.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Analysis of selected plays and playwrights 100.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Bovell, A 2009, When the Rain Stops Falling, Currency Press, Sydney.
  • Brown, D 2004, Eating Ice Cream With Your Eyes Closed, Playlab Press, Brisbane.
  • Buzo, A 1976, Norm and Ahmed, Currency Press, Sydney.
  • Cowell, R 2009, Ruben Guthrie, Currency Press, Sydney.
  • Enoch, W. & Mailman, D 2002, The Seven Stages of Grieving, Playlab Press, Brisbane.
  • Gilbert, K 1988, The Cherry Pickers, The Cherry Pickers, Canberra.
  • Hibberd, J 2000, Jack Hibberd: Selected plays, Currency Press, Sydney.
  • Holloway, T 2010, Love Me Tender, Currency Press, Sydney.
  • Janaczewska, N 2008, Songket, This Territory: Two plays, Currency Press, Sydney.
  • Keene, D 2008, The Serpent?s Teeth:Two plays, Currency Press, Sydney.
  • Mulvaney. K 2008, The Seed, Currency Press, Sydney.
  • Murray-Smith, J 2008, The Female of the Species, Currency Press, Sydney.
  • Nowra L 1981, Inside the Island/The Precious Woman, Currency Press, Sydney.
  • Sewell, S 2007, It just stopped/Myth, propaganda and disaster in Nazi Germany and contemporary America, Currency Press, Sydney.
  • Williamson, D 1973, Don?s Party, Currency Press, Sydney.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Archer, R 2005, The myth of the mainstream: politics and the performing arts in Australia today, Currency House, Sydney.
  • Capelin, S (ed) 1995, Challenging the centre: two decades of political theatre, Playlab Press, Brisbane.
  • Casey, M 2004, Creating frames: contemporary Indigenous theatre 1967-1990, UQP, St Lucia.
  • Jordan, R 2002, The convict theatres of early Australia, 1788-1840, Currency House, Sydney.
  • Kelly, V 1998, Our Australian theatre in the 1990s, Australian playwrights, monograph no. 7, Rodopi, Amsterdam.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Examinations 2.00
Lectures and Tutorials 39.00
Private Study 124.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 - SHORT ESSAY 100 20 15 Apr 2012 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 2 - ESSAY 100 40 21 May 2012 (see note 2)
EXAMINATION 2 HOURS 100 40 End S1 (see note 3)

  1. Details of assessment will be given out in the first lecture of the semester and on Study Desk.
  2. Students will be advised of the examination date when the timetable has been finalised.
  3. Students will be advised of the examination date when the timetable has been finalised.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students? responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration. Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    The exam for this course is a CLOSED examination, and candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any deferred or supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  6. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  7. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded one of the temporary grades: IM (Incomplete - Make up), IS (Incomplete - Supplementary Examination) or ISM (Incomplete -Supplementary Examination and Make up). A temporary grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  10. Students may be assigned an "Incomplete" grade to signify that all the requirements of the course have not yet been met. Students who are graded "I" can pass the course by successfully completing such additional work as prescribed by the examiner by a given date. Students who have been awarded an IM, ISM, IDM or IDB grade must access information regarding further work to be completed, in the Student Centre of U Connect. The Grades Page in the Student Centre contains information about further work to be completed. Students who have not completed the additional work to the satisfaction of the examiner by the given date will receive the appropriate Failing grade.

Other requirements

  1. 1 For this course, normal class attendance consists of one 2 hour lecture and one 1 hour tutorial per week.
    2 Students are strongly advised to maintain regular contact with their supervisor