20th Century Australian Theatre and Dance History

125 Years Old: The Sydney University Dramatic Society
SUDS is the oldest theatre company in the country, and its long history, explored by Dr Laura Ginters, offers rich material for exploration – not only for its continued important role within the University community, but also in the wider theatre world and in terms of the many professional careers it has launched. This project has led to a monograph (The Ripples Before the Wave: Drama at the University of Sydney 1957-63 (forthcoming)), and a number of articles analysing significant productions (such as the Australian premieres of plays by Brecht) and participants. An edited book, giving a chronological history of the Society’s first 125 years is in progress.

Australian Theatre and Performance History
Dr Ian Maxwell is researching the influence of European figures, including Stanislavsky and Grotowski, on Australian theatre-making and training. In particular, he is working on a book about Grotowski's visits to Australia in the early 1970s: the anticipation of those visits, what transpired during the visits, and the subsequent legacy of Grotowski on theatre. This research explores the impact of European avant-garde(s) in the post-colonial context, understanding the ways in which struggles to emulate and reinvent those traditions have affected how Australian theatre and performance cultures have developed.

Australian Dance in the 20th Century
In a multi-stranded long-term project spanning the 20th century, Dr Amanda Card has been examining avant garde dance practices from 1920-1950 (Prominence in Obscurity: women, dance and modernisms in Australia 1920-1950); the use of Indigenous dance practices by non-Indigenous dancers from the 1930s to the 1950s in Australia from the 1930s to the 1980s (Choreographing Continents: Appropriating Indigenous dance in Australia and the United States); and modern dance history in Australia ((Post)modern dance in Australia 1950-1980).

Researchers in 20th Century Australian Theatre and Dance History are:
Dr Amanda Card
Dr Laura Ginters
Associate Professor Ian Maxwell