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THE2005 Australian Theatre

Semester 1, 2022 Toowoomba On-campus
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Creative Arts
Student contribution band : 2021 Grandfather Funding Cl 2
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 30 June 2022


Examiner: David Burton


Graduates should have an understanding of the historical and current influences on the industry in which they seek to pursue their careers. This course is designed to survey the multi-faceted nature and the development of Australian drama and theatre since the beginning of white settlement. By tracing the notion of identity through major movements (both mainstream and marginalised) within the Australian theatre industry, students will be equipped to engage critically with the issues facing the industry today.

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 artists and companies that have shaped Australian theatre. The course attempts to represent a diversity of "voices" in Australian theatre, and will draw upon plays, articles and other secondary materials to explore various relevant socio-political and economic issues as they relate to identification.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. discuss the way national identity has shaped Australian playwriting and theatre-making since white settlement [TLO1];
  2. research and evaluate play scripts and/or other theatre-making practices in terms of their relationship to the prevailing cultural, social, and economic contexts of their creation [TLO2];
  3. present a cogent argument regarding contemporary industrial debates, based on an understanding and interpretation of the historical and contemporary influences shaping the situation [TLO4];
  4. recognise and reflect on the way that social, cultural, political, industrial and economic factors produce both hegemonic and marginal perspectives, with a particular focus on theatre’s role in these processes [TLO6].


Description Weighting(%)
1. Analysis of selected plays and playwrights 50.00
2. Understanding the contemporary Australian theatre industry 50.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

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.
Enoch, W. & Mailman, D 2002, The seven stages of grieving, Playlab Press, Brisbane.
Evans, D. 2017, Oedipus Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Playlab Press, Brisbane.
Finnigan, D, Hobba, J & Griffin Theatre Company 2018, Kill climate deniers, Currency Press, Strawberry Hills, New South Wales.
Gurr, M 1992, Sex Diary of An Infidel, Currency Press, Sydney.
Keene, D 2008, The serpent’s teeth: two plays, Currency Press, Sydney.
Lui, N 2019, Black is the new white, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, New South Wales.
Murray-Smith, J 2008, The female of the species, 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.
Wright, T & Enoch, W 2015, Black diggers, Playlab, South Brisbane B.C. Queensland.

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Description Weighting (%)
Date printed 30 June 2022