Australian Theatre and Performance

Subject ENGL40020 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

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

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2
Total Time Commitment:



Admission to the Master of Arts & Cultural Management; Postgraduate Diploma in Arts & Cultural Management; fourth year honours, postgraduate certificate or postgraduate diploma in English & theatre studies.



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


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:


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.

An individual research paper on an aspect of the subject 5000 words 100% (due in the examination period). Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% (or 10 out of 12) classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. Any student who fails to meet this hurdle without valid reason will not be eligible to pass the subject. All required written work must be submitted in order to pass the subject. Essays submitted after the due date without an extension will be penalised 2% per day. Essays submitted after two weeks of the assessment due date without a formally approved application for special consideration or an extension will only be marked on a pass/fail basis if accepted.

Prescribed Texts:
  • R Lawler, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Currency Press, 1978.
  • D Williamson, The Removalists, Currency Press, 1972.
  • J Hibberd, A Stretch of the Imagination, (new Edition), Currency Press, 1977.
  • J Romeril, The Floating World, Currency Press, 1975.
  • H Rayson, Life After George, Currency Press, 2000.
  • P Cornelius & C Tsiolkas et al, Who's Afraid of the Working Class? Melbourne Stories: Three Plays, Currency Press, 2001.
  • W Enoch et al, The Seven Stages of Grieving, Playlab Press, 1996.
  • C Vu, A Story Of Soil, Australian Script Centre, 2002.
  • W Yang, Sadness, Allen & Unwin, 1996.
  • S Sewell, Myth and Propaganda in Nazi Germany and Contemporary America, Currency Press, 2003.
  • A Bovell, When the Rain Stops Falling, Currency Press, 2009.
  • J Kemp, Madeleine,
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): Postgraduate Diploma in Arts and Cultural Management
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of Arts and Cultural Management
150 Point Master of Arts and Cultural Management
200 Point Master of Arts and Cultural Management
English and Theatre
English and Theatre Studies
English and Theatre Studies

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