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MHS Library | Theatre Studies and Drama

Gender and race in Australian theatre - Year 11 project

Topic for research: Date 18 July P1 and 2

That Australian Theatre does not reflect a gender balance or an accurate representation of the cultural and racial make-up of this country in its programming and casting of plays.


You will need to find out about their current programming and staffing( directors and other creative roles on productions) as well as who is cast in their season for 2016.


You may also want to look at previous years to see if things are changing. Most of these companies have a website and you can investigate through there.


You may also look up articles in the press and reviews in the major newspapers.


Companies to research:



Sydney Theatre Company


Black Swan - Archive

Belvoir Street

Malthouse Theatre

La Mama

Red Stitch Theatre Company

La Boite Theatre Company

St Martin’s Youth Theatre

Barking Gecko Theatre Company WA

MTC - example

Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC) 

On their Youtube channel, playlists are organised by season and year.

You can listen to MTC talks and interviews on Soundcloud. These podcasts can also be viewed as playlists which will group plays by season, by interviewer, theme, etc. 

Writing about Australian Theatre

Books in our library

Research process

Think about the process you will need to follow in order, for example, the following aspects:

  • Research
  • Note taking

- Organise your points and materials in a logical and clear presentation

  • Develop a position on the statement/topic/.
  • Speak to this for at least 5 minutes in the seminar.
  • List the repertoire for the company
  • Know what these plays are about, culturally and contextually (in brief)
  • Get lists of casts for the season and find out about them as actors.
  • Find out who are the creative teams on the productions.

This is a challenge and should be informative and create a strong discussion.

There are roles we can take on to make the discussion more effective and enlightening

Black Swan - example

Black Swan Theatre Company 

Tip: Look at the 'About' page. Luckily this leads to 'Archive'. Apart from play titles listed under 'years', at a glance you can see the gender of the playwrights

For example, under 2009, The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion.  This is a stage adaptation of her own best-selling, award-winning memoir is a chronicle of the year she spent imagining her husband’'s return after she witnessed him die suddenly of a heart attack. It is a one-woman play with music by Iain Graindage. 

The 'cast and creatives' section informs us of the gender of people involved.

Cast & Creatives

Starring: Helen Morse

Musician: Iain Grandage Musician on Tour: Melanie Robinson

Director: Kate Cherry

Set & Costume Designer: Christina Smith Lighting Designer: Matt Scott Composer: Iain Grandage Associate Director: Paul English

La Boite Theatre Company - example

La Boite Theatre Company.

Read the 'About': 

The stories, ideas and voices of our city and country are many and varied and as such La Boite seeks to represent and engage in this beautiful and rich diversity; the diversity of form, of ideas, ethnicity, gender – of identity.

Useful websites

Browse 'play categories' eg gender themes, plays by women, significant female roles, gay/lesbian themes, indigenous playwrights, indigenous themes, multicultural themes, and more.

Youtube playlists eg Australian theatre forum and In Conversation.

Browse artist profiles, show profiles and podcasts.


Browse genres, eg indigenous where you will find the plays which link to a listing of actors, playwrights, etc. These are hyperlinked to more information about these people.

Playlab - we seek to identify, nurture and develop new playwrights and plays, which reflect the diversity and vibrancy of contemporary Australia. Browse the list of Playlab's playwrights.

Stage Noise 

Read their reviews.