Not in Print: playwrights off script - on inspiration, process and theatre itself

War Crimes: How do you win the battle inside your head? l Award-winning Australian theatre

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A powerful story of five disenfranchised young women who are fighting for respect, railing against authority and struggling to form an identity in a small town with limited opportunities. The relocation of an Iraqi refugee family to the town provokes a climate of hostility and tension that threatens to violently explode.

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Angela Betzien is a multi-award winning writer and a founding member of independent theatre company Real TV; her work has toured widely across Australia and internationally. She is currently the Patrick White Fellow at Sydney Theatre Company and developing new plays for them, as well as Melbourne Theatre Company and Belvoir.

Angela’s play Children of the Black Skirt toured Australian schools for three years and won the 2005 Drama Victoria Award for Best Performance by a Theatre Company for Secondary Schools. Another work, Hoods, won the AWGIE Award for Theatre for Young Audiences in 2007 and the Richard Wherrett Award for Theatre for Young Audiences in the same year.

A Town Named War Boy

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"We hit Cairo like a train!... Every dirty little alley, every dusty back room bar. The pyramids are marvellous, but I could spend the rest of my days quite happily in the arms of your temptation."


Inspired by The State Library of New South Wales' jaw-dropping collection of World War I diaries and letters, A Town Named War Boy explores both the events of war and the impact it has upon soldiers and their families. Written with insight, humour and sensitivity, Ross Mueller's moving play brings the ANZAC legend to life. 

The Making of a Great Play l Reflecting on award-winning Australian theatre

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Eamon Flack reads his foreword to The Seed, by Kate Mulvany. It’s called The Making of a Great Play, and this is something Eamon knows a lot about. He's worked extensively in theatre companies around the country. He is a writer and director - currently the Artistic Associate at Belvoir - and he has been at the helm of many successful productions.

Cosi: A symphony of operatic madness l Classic Australian theatre

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Lewis is a bit of a non-participant in life, but when he takes up an opportunity to direct a play at a mental institution - for a bit of extra cash - he gets much more than he bargained for. He becomes emotionally involved with his actors’ lives as his production lurches forward, and the anti-Vietnam war protests take place in the streets outside.


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Louis Nowra is one of Australia’s most successful writers. He has penned novels, crafted film scripts, authored two memoirs and worked as a librettist, but he is perhaps best known for his plays. Since the early 1970s he has created over 30 stories for the stage; several of them have earned a rightful place in the Australian dramatic canon, and our hearts. They include Summer of the AliensRadianceThe Golden Age, The Temple and Albert Names Edward.

Trial by Madmen l Reflecting on classic Australian theatre

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Louis Nowra reads his introduction to Cosi. It’s called Trial by Madmen and you'll see that, once again, truth is stranger than fiction. And if you thought you knew everything there was to know about one of Australia's most beloved plays, think again.

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Louis Nowra is one of Australia’s most successful writers. He has penned novels, crafted film scripts, authored two memoirs and worked as a librettist, but he is perhaps best known for his plays. Since the early 1970s he has created over 30 stories for the stage; several of them have earned a rightful place in the Australian dramatic canon, and our hearts. They include Summer of the AliensRadianceThe Golden Age, The Temple and Albert Names Edward.

The Shoe-horn Sonata: digging up the past l Award-winning Australian theatre

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In 1945 Sheila and Bridie were freed from a Japanese POW camp deep in the jungles of Sumatra where thousands of women and children had lived and died virtually forgotten by their own governments. Now, after being separated for half a century, the filming of a television documentary forces them to relive the past, contact the present and question the future.


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After working as a solicitor, John Misto changed direction; he decided to become a writer. That career change eventually led to The Shoe-Horn Sonata. It is dense, shocking and poignant - a piece of narrative non-fiction that depicts real life events with a solicitors’ attention to factual detail and a storyteller’s understanding of how emotional truths must be drawn out through narrative construction. The play won the 1995 NSW Premier’s Literary Award, but John was (perhaps) more satisfied that it had rung true for the WWII nurses whose story he was sharing with the world.

Scores to be Settled l Reflections on award-winning Australian theatre

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Erin Dewar reads Vera Rado’s introduction to The Shoe-horn Sonata. Rado was one of the many prisoners of war John Misto interviewed when conducting his research for the play. She endured three years in captivity and was moved to tears when she saw John’s play, because her story was finally being recognised.

The Unacknowledged l Reflections on award-winning Australian theatre

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Toby Leon reads Jan McCarthy’s foreword to The Shoe-Horn Sonata, which was first performed in 1995 at the Ensemble Theatre in Sydney. Jan McCarthy is a former Director of the Nursing Services Army, Member of the Nurses’ National Memorial Committee and Honorary Colonel - and Representative Honorary Colonel - of the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps.

Stories in the Dark: princes, wolf-mothers & singing bones l Award-winning Australian theatre

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Tomas, 12, finds himself trapped in a war torn city, separated from his family. He takes refuge in a derelict house with Anna, 16. Every night she tells him folk stories to distract them from the sound of bombs outside, mingling the magic and earthy wisdom of folk tales with the hard-edged story of violence, conflict and the struggle to survive.


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Debra Oswald announced to her parents that she was going to be a playwright at twelve years old and she has been sharing stories ever since. Her broad body of work has been seen on screens large and small, watched in darkened theatres across the world, and read by too many people to count. She had early success with her play Dags and continued on with acclaimed works such as The Peach Season, Gary's House, Skate and House on Fire. She was also the creator and head writer for the smash hit television series, Offspring on Channel Ten.

Playwright’s Note for Stories in the Dark l Reflecting on award-winning Australian theatre

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Debra Oswald reads her playwright’s note for Stories in the Dark. It’s about obsession. The good kind. The kind that incites action, creativity, and in this case, the mixture of seemingly disconnected elements.

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Debra Oswald announced to her parents that she was going to be a playwright at twelve years old and she has been sharing stories ever since. Her broad body of work has been seen on screens large and small, watched in darkened theatres across the world, and read by too many people to count. She had early success with her play Dags and continued on with acclaimed works such as The Peach Season, Gary's House, Skate and House on Fire. She was also the creator and head writer for the smash hit television series, Offspring on Channel Ten.