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After the pram: an overview of independent theatre in Melbourne

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posted on 2023-01-18, 15:52 authored by Robert Reid
Submission note: A thesis submitted in total fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy by creative work to the School of Humanities, College of Theatre and Drama, La Trobe University, Bundoora.

This thesis presents a study of the main companies in the Melbourne theatre community 1980 to 2010. It is offered in two parts, a conventional scholarly thesis and a complete creative work (a play text and its production by a major theatre company). The doctoral thesis provides three research foci: a historical account, a systemic overview, and a creative artwork. The author approaches independent theatre in Melbourne in the period through his own practice-led involvement in the making of theatre. The thesis presents a chronological narrative of independent and mainstream theatre in Melbourne over three decades. Chapters one to four identify important companies, artists and productions in those years and place them within the context of infrastructure and institutional change. It draws on primary and secondary sources to compile this history, and includes extensive interviews with key practitioners. The research material is original and, by combining a range of theoretical perspectives, provides a comprehensive overview of its subject matter. Chapters five to eight identify structural homologies, emerging taxonomies and recurring patterns relating to the development of select independent companies in the period. The thesis models the structural relationships between these companies and the networks formed by these relationships. This historical and theoretical analysis is accompanied by the final production copy of my play script, The Joy of Text, as commissioned, developed and produced by Melbourne Theatre Company 2009 to 2011.


Center or Department

College of Theatre and Drama. School of Humanities.

Thesis type

  • Ph. D.

Awarding institution

La Trobe University

Year Awarded


Rights Statement

The thesis author retains all proprietary rights (such as copyright and patent rights) over the content of this thesis, and has granted La Trobe University permission to reproduce and communicate this version of the thesis. The author has declared that any third party copyright material contained within the thesis made available here is reproduced and communicated with permission. If you believe that any material has been made available without permission of the copyright owner please contact us with the details.

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arrow migration 2023-01-10 00:15. Ref: latrobe:41941 (9e0739)

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