Australian Theatre and Performance

Subject ENGL40020 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 170 hours across the semester, including class time.


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:


Prof Denise Varney


Subject Overview:

This subject is a study of Australian performing arts from 1960 to the present with a special focus on the shift from national drama to diversity, and from drama to performance, framed by the changing landscape of Australian culture. We read selected plays in relation to context, genre, and performance history; view DVDs of live performance; engage in online and library-based archival research; undertake detailed textual and performance analysis; and investigate the role of performance as a mediation of cultural life. The subject is arranged in sections including a single-author study of Patrick White; the New Wave of the 1970s; Women Dramatists such as Jane Harrison, and Jenny Kemp; the 21st Century stage including Lally Katz and Scott Rankin; and postdramatic theatre including Back to Back Theatre and Version 1.0.

Learning Outcomes:

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:
  • A Bovell, When the Rain Stops Falling, Currency Press, 2009.
  • A. Buzo, Norm and Ahmed, Currency Press
  • P. Capsis, Angela‚Äôs Kitchen, Currency Press
  • W Enoch et al, The Seven Stages of Grieving, Playlab Press.
  • J. Harrison, Stolen, Currency Press
  • L. Katz, Neighbourhood Watch, Currency Press.
  • J Kemp, Madeleine,
  • J. Murray-Smith, Honour (1995) Currency Press.
  • S. Rankin, Ngapartjl Ngapartjl Currency Press
  • J Romeril, The Floating World, Currency Press,
  • Version 1.0 Remixing Politics Currency Press
  • P. White. The Ham Funeral, A Season at Sarsaparilla, Signal Driver and Shepherd on the Rocks, Currency Press.
  • D Williamson, The Removalists, Currency Press.
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): Graduate Diploma in Arts and Cultural Management (Advanced)
Master of Directing for Performance
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
Graduate Certificate in Arts (Advanced) - English and Theatre Studies
Graduate Certificate in Arts - English and Theatre Studies
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Advanced) - English and Theatre Studies
Graduate Diploma in Arts - English and Theatre Studies
PC-ARTS English and Theatre Studies
PD-ARTS English and Theatre Studies

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