Australian Theatre and Performance

Subject ENGL40020 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

On campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Admission to Master of Arts and Cultural Management, Postgraduate Diploma in Arts and Cultural Management, BA Hons, Postgraduate Certificate in Arts, and Postgraduate Diploma in Arts.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Assoc Prof Denise Varney, Assoc Prof Peter Eckersall


Denise Varney


Peter Eckersall

Subject Overview: Australian Theatre and Performance is a study of representative Australian performing arts selected for historical, dramatic, theatrical and cultural significance. Important plays, performance groups, and artists from the 1960s until the present-day will be discussed and analysed. Students will read plays, view live works and performance documentation, engage in archival research, and undertake textual and performance analysis. An interdisciplinary approach combining aspects of theatre and performance studies and cultural history will inform the subject. Artistic trends are discussed alongside analysis of social, political and cultural movements and contexts evident in the development and expansion of the national performance scene. Australian Theatre and Performance investigates the contemporary senses of diversity and innovation in the arts as well as examining challenges and the changing cultural landscape.

Upon completion of this subject students will be able to:

  • Apply interdisciplinary methodologies drawing on aesthetic, cultural, social and economic perspectives to inform an understanding of the creation of dramatic literature and performance;
  • Understand how Australian drama is an expression of culture and society;
  • Broaden the understanding of contemporary drama and performance in the contemporary period; and
  • Debate the contribution of the arts to society.
Assessment: An individual research paper on an aspect of the subject, 5000 words to be researched and written up due at the end of semester (100% of assessment). Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. All required written work must be submitted in order to pass the subject.
Prescribed Texts:
  • Ray Lawler, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll. Currency Press, 1978.
  • David Williamson, The Removalists. Currency Press, 1972.
  • Jack Hibberd, A Stretch of the Imagination. Currency Press, new edition, 1977.
  • John Romeril, The Floating World. Currency Press, 1975.
  • Hannie Rayson, Life After George. Currency Press, 2000.
  • Patricia Cornelius, Christos Tsiolkas, Melissa Reeves, Andrew Bovell, Who's Afraid of the Working Class?, Melbourne Stories: Three Plays. Currency Press, 2001.
  • Wesley Enoch and Deborah Mailman, The Seven Stages of Grieving. Playlab Press, 1996.
  • Chi Vu, A Story Of Soil Australian Script Centre, 2002.
  • William Yang, Sadness. St. Leonards, Allen & Unwin, 1996.
  • Stephen Sewell, Myth and Propaganda in Nazi Germany and Contemporary America. Currency Press, 2003.
  • Andrew Bovell, When the Rain Stops Falling. Currency Press, 2009.
  • Jenny Kemp, Madeleine. Available
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will be able to:

  • Prepare and present their ideas in both verbal and written mode to an advanced level and in conformity to conventions of academic presentation;
  • Participate in discussion and group activities and be sensitive to the participation of others;
  • Apply creative and critical thinking in the analysis of artistic works;
  • Manage time effectively in the completion of assessment tasks; and
  • Access a broad range of resource material, including traditional text, art works and electronic media.
Related Course(s): Master of Arts and Cultural Management
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts and Cultural Management
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: English
English and Theatre
English and Theatre Studies
English and Theatre Studies

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