‘Space and Place in Australian Performance Writing’ – Kay Nankervis (PhD Creative Writing)

This research seeks to engage with the following questions:
    
    1. How can/does space and place inspire and channel the creative journey of a performance writing piece by a non-Indigenous Australian in the Australian (post) colonial context?
    
    2. What is specific to Australian experience of landscape, spaces and places reflected in my own work and in other performance writing works that have been created?
    
    3. How is my own (and other) Australian non-Indigenous writing consciously or unconsciously driven by Australia’s colonial shadows and other secrets held by its landscape, spaces and places?

Name of Researcher Kay Nankervis
Name of Project Space and Place in Australian Performance Writing
Year of Project Current/Ongoing
Name of Supervisor/s (if applicable) Dr. Maryrose Casey, Dr. Will Peterson (associate supervisor)
Abstract (or link to Abstract)  –

 

‘Negotiating a space for the Contemporary in Indian Performing Arts’ – Nithya Nagarajan

This research investigates the contemporary relevance of classical dance movement vocabulary and choreographic techniques in an Indian context, with a special focus on artists who have been intensely trained in Bharatanatyam. The output will be in the form of a public performance and a critical commentary. The written component of this PhD will provide a narrative of the performance making process and situate my practice within a broader cultural framework. Both seek to answer the following question: How can the Bharatanatyam vocabulary be used alongside influences from other movement systems along with words, images, and modern technology to create works of contemporary relevance?

Name of Researcher Nithya Nagarajan
Name of Project Negotiating a space for the Contemporary in Indian Performing Arts
Year of Project Current/Ongoing
Name of Supervisor/s (if applicable) Dr. Will Peterson
Abstract (or link to Abstract)  –

 

‘Seeking Dorothy: In the Land of Oz’ – Colette F. Keen (PhD Creative Writing)

With a working title of Seeking Dorothy: In the Land of OZ, this research will create a picture of the changing attitudes in society during the first seven years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Sydney, Australia. A Verbatim play and an accompanying critical commentary are the anticipated final products of this research. Both will reflect an analysis of the formation of public opinion through the political, media and medical responses to the epidemic and contrasting these responses with newly recorded oral histories of the QLBTIQA (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Ally) community.

Name of Researcher Colette F. Keen
Name of Project Seeking Dorothy: In the Land of Oz
Year of Project Current/Ongoing
Name of Supervisor/s (if applicable) Dr. Will Peterson
Abstract (or link to Abstract)  –

 

‘The Survival of Jatra’ – Alamgir Hossain

This research seeks to establish some effective pathways to revitalize the Bangladeshi Jatra. My study explores the factors affecting Jatra’s sustainability as well as the ways to overcome the challenges it currently faces. This research has a documentary component which will reflect upon the current status of Jatra and offer possible pathways for revitalizing the form.

Name of Researcher Alamgir Hossain
Name of Project The Survival of Jatra
Year of Project Current/Ongoing
Name of Supervisor/s (if applicable) Dr. Will Peterson
Abstract (or link to Abstract)  –

 

‘Creating an inescapable theatre experience by adapting the theatrical potential of Sri Lankan Ritual Performance for the Modern Theatre’ – Indika Ferdinando

This research project seeks to examine and extract the qualities of “inescapability” found in selected Sri Lankan ritual traditions and apply them to contemporary theatrical practice.

Name of Researcher Indika Ferdinando
Name of Project Creating an inescapable theatre experience by adapting the theatrical potential of Sri Lankan Ritual Performance for the Modern Theatre
Year of Project Current/Ongoing
Name of Supervisor/s (if applicable) Dr. Will Peterson
Abstract (or link to Abstract)  –

 

Revival of Bangsawan through the project ‘Semarak Bangsawan’ – Marlenny Deneerwan

This research examines the current status of Bangsawan in Malaysia’s contemporary theatre scene, using the project Semarak Bangsawan as a case study. Semarak Bangsawan (The Invigoration of Bangsawan) is a project organized by Jabatan Kebudayaan dan Kesenian Negara (JKKN [National Culture and Art Department]), a government agency in the Ministry of Information, Communication, and Culture of Malaysia. After completing Part 1 by setting forth a proposed set of conventions, a live performance of Bangsawan will be created in order to test the efficacy of those conventions.

Name of Researcher Marlenny Deneerwan
Name of Project Semarak Bangsawan
Year of Project Current/Ongoing
Name of Supervisor/s (if applicable) Dr. Will Peterson
Abstract (or link to Abstract)  –

 

‘Staging Sri Lankan cultural identity for the global theatre market: A Contemporary Natyashilpa’ – Tharanga Dandeniya

This practice-led research project aims to effectively represent Sri Lankan cultural identity through folk drama elements in the commercial stream theatre outside of its homeland. The researcher seeks to develop terms and a conceptual framework for Sri Lankan theatre which negotiates with other cultures in non-South Asian cultural spaces. The project will test this framework through a full-length theatre performance, and later evaluate it.

Name of Researcher Tharanga Dandeniya
Name of Project Staging Sri Lankan cultural identity for the global theatre market: A Contemporary Natyashilpa
Year of Project Current/Ongoing
Name of Supervisor/s (if applicable) Dr. Will Peterson
Abstract (or link to Abstract)  –

 

Funding and Scholarship Opportunities

There are a number of different funding and scholarship opportunities available to research practitioners through both Monash and outside channels.

 

Monash

Monash University Scholarships and Grants page 

 

Non-Monash

JASON (Joint Academic Scholarship Online Network)

Arts Victoria – Youth Arts Funding

 

 

 

Research Awards and Prizes

Research awards & prizes

  • Peterson, Will, Special Commendation Marlis Thiersch Award 2011 Australasian Association for the study of Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies (ADSA) award for the best article or chapter for “Performing Indigeneity in the Cordillera: Dance, Identity and Politics in the Highlands of Luzon.” Asian Theatre Journal 27.2 2010.
  • Griffiths, Jane, Dean’s Award for Media Engagement, 2011
  • Casey, Maryrose, Monash Research Accelerator Program Fellowship 2011-12
  • Casey, Maryrose, Dean of Arts Early Career Researcher of the Year Award 2010, Monash University
  • Griffiths, Jane, Dean’s Commendation for  Innovation and Industry Engagement (Monash/Malthouse Theatre ARC Linkage) 2010
  • Casey, Maryrose, Short listed Marlis Thiersch Award 2010 ADSA award for the best article or chapter. ‘Theatre or Corroboree, what’s in a name? Framing Indigenous Australian nineteenth century commercial performance practices’ in Creating White Australia, (eds) Jane Carey and Claire McLisky, University of Sydney, 2009.
  • Casey, Maryrose, Short listed Marlis Thiersch Award 2010. ADSA award for the best article or chapter. ‘Ngapartji Ngapartji: Telling Aboriginal Australian Stories’ in Get Real: Documentary Theatre Past and Present. (eds) Chris Megson & Alison Forsyth, Palgrave Macmillan 2009.
  • Casey, Maryrose, Special Commendation: Award for Excellence in Early Career Research 2009 Dean of Arts Early Career Researcher of the Year Award, Monash University.
  • Nobis, Felix, Graduate Research Prize (School of English, Communications and Performance Studies, Monash University) 2008
  • Casey, Maryrose, Shortlisted Marlis Thiersch Award 2008. ADSA award for the best article or chapter. ‘Carnivalising Sovereignty: Containing Indigenous Protest within the ‘white’ Australian nation’,About Performance 7 2007
  • Casey, Maryrose, Honourable mention: Award for Excellence in Early Career Research 2007. Dean of Arts Early Career Researcher of the Year Award, Monash University.
  • Casey, Maryrose, Rob Jordan Prize, 2006. Australasian Association for the study of Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies award for the best book of drama, theatre and performance studies scholarship of the previous 2 years. (awarded to Creating Frames: Contemporary Indigenous Theatre, UQP, 2004)
  • Casey, Maryrose, Dwight Conquergood Award, 2006. Performance Studies international ECR/artist award for work around cultural performance that approaches ‘ethnographic research as an ethical act, an act of performative witnessing’.
  • Casey, Maryrose, Walter McRae Russell Award, 2005. Association for the Study of Australian Literature award for the best work of literary scholarship in the previous 2 years (co-winner). (awarded to Creating Frames: Contemporary Indigenous Theatre, UQP, 2004)

Creative awards & prizes

  • Griffiths, Jane, Sappho…in 9 fragments – shortlisted for NSW Premier’s Literary Awards 2011(Best New Play);
  • Griffiths, Jane, Sappho…in 9 fragments – shortlisted for Louis Esson Prize for Drama, Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2011.
  • Griffiths, Jane, R E Ross Script Development Award, 2011
  • Nobis, Felix, R E Ross Trust Script Development Award, 2010

Research fellowships

  • Peterson, Will, Visiting Professor, Theatre Studies/ Theaterwetenschap, University of Amsterdam. Master’s Program in International Performance Research (MAIPR) with University of Warwick and Universities of Tampere & Helsinki.  2010.
  • Peterson, Will, Research Fellow, Dept. of Theatre & Speech Communications, University of the Philippines, Diliman, 2010.
  • Peterson, Will, Visiting Professor, Fine Arts Program, Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines, 2007.
  • Casey, Maryrose, National and State Libraries of Australasia Fellowship, 2005

External grants

  • Casey, Maryrose, ARC DP10 ‘Performing Indigenous Sovereignty: Aboriginal Australian commercial performances 1800-1949’ ($155,000) 2010-2012
  • Casey, Maryrose, ARC LEIF ‘AusStage Phase 4: Harnessing collective intelligence and pioneering new visual methodologies for innovative research into Australian live performance’, lead CI Prof Julie Holledge, administered by Flinders University.($650,000) Monash CI ($24,000) 2010
  • Griffiths, Jane, ARC Linkage: Staging Sappho – towards a new methodology for performance reception. ($300,000). 2009-2012
  • Casey, Maryrose, ARC LIEF  grant  ‘AusStage: Gateway to Australian live performance, phase 3 – enhancing collaborative research methodologies through digital networking technologies’, lead CI Prof Julie Holledge, administered by Flinders University. ($300,000) Monash CI ($15,400) 2007
  • Casey, Maryrose, ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship, Confronting Representations: Performing Indigenous protests.’ ($210,000). 2005-2007

 

‘The Beowulf Project’ – Felix Nobis

Performed by Felix NobisThis project represents ongoing research in the adaptation and presentation of the Anglo-Saxon text Beowulf for contemporary audiences. The research spans 10 years and has extended over 3 continents.  The 2004 performance represents the first performance of this translation in Australia.  The ongoing performances of this translation facilitate a dialogue between past performances and the present, reflecting and informing the relationship between the text and its historic context.      

 

The performance provides a contribution to an ongoing process of data collection, providing a foundation for ongoing research; my own and informing  other research.  To my knowledge this research represents the most substantial study on the effects of time and place on storytelling performance. 

Excerpts from the text

Visual Gallery

Reviews

Review (The Age)

Sydney Morning Herald

Additional

Sound Files

‘Beowulf’ on ABC Radio National (Poetica) Excerpt

‘Beowulf’ ABC RadioNational (Poetica) Interview Excerpt

 

Taking the lead in poetic adaptation

Dr Jane Montgomery Griffiths
Dr Jane Montgomery Griffiths will play the lead role of Alex in Wild Surmise. Photo: Garth Oriander

Dr Jane Montgomery Griffiths will play the lead role of Alex in Wild Surmise. Photo: Garth Oriander

A dramatic adaptation of a verse novel by one of Australia’s most inventive poets will feature a Monash University staff member in the lead role.

Dr Jane Montgomery Griffiths from the Monash Department of Theatre and Performance will play Alex in the first adaptation of Dorothy Porter’s Wild Surmise, to be performed at the Malthouse Theatre.

Dr Griffiths, a great fan of Porter’s work, said she was curious about the feasibility of adapting Wild Surmise for the stage so was delighted when the late poet’s partner, Andrea Goldsmith, allowed her the adaptation rights.

“Adapting the work has allowed me to explore the performativity of poetry when embodied in the theatre,” Dr Griffiths said.

“I took the idea to Malthouse Artistic Director Marion Potts. Marion and I had worked together on my ARC Linkage project, Sappho…in 9 fragments, which she directed in 2010. After that very enjoyable and fruitful collaboration – again about the performative possibilities of poetry – it seemed that this was a natural progression for us both.”

Wild Surmise is a compilation of poems chronicling the life and experiences of astronomer Alex Leefson (played by Dr Griffiths) and her literary-loving husband, Daniel (Humphrey Bower).

Dr Griffiths is looking forward to using her acting muscles.

“I’ve something of a fascination with female astronomers after writing a play about the ancient astronomer Hypatia. Alex is no Hypatia: she’s deeply flawed and unwittingly selfish but I suppose I like her restless yearning for what is beyond life as we know it,” Dr Griffiths said.

Away from the theatre, Dr Griffiths is about to record her play about Hypatia for Radio National, a project supported by Monash Academy of Performing Arts through its Three for Free series.

“It is great to see how the University’s practice research culture fosters projects that can have a wider dissemination to the general public. For academia it’s a new – and I think very exciting – way of looking at how and what academics can ‘publish’,” Dr Griffiths said.

“For me, practice-based research and traditional scholarship go hand in hand. That’s the terrific thing about practice research in the university context – we can find ways of braiding together different methodologies that still retain rigour. Monash has been incredibly supportive in facilitating that kind of research.”

Dr Jane Montgomery Griffiths will star in Wild Surmise at the Beckett Theatre, The Malthouse from 9 November until 2 December, with opening night on Thursday 15 November.

 

Awards and Grants

Research Awards & Prizes

  • Will Peterson, Special Commendation Marlis Thiersch Award 2011 Australasian Association for the study of Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies (ADSA) award for the best article or chapter for “Performing Indigeneity in the Cordillera: Dance, Identity and Politics in the Highlands of Luzon.” Asian Theatre Journal 27.2 2010.

  • Jane Griffiths, Dean’s Award for Media Engagement, 2011

  • Maryrose Casey, Monash Research Accelerator Program Fellowship 2011-12

  • Maryrose Casey, Dean of Arts Early Career Researcher of the Year Award 2010, Monash University

  • Jane Griffiths, Dean’s Commendation for Innovation and Industry Engagement 2010, (Monash/Malthouse Theatre ARC Linkage)

  • Maryrose Casey, Short listed Marlis Thiersch Award 2010 ADSA award for the best article or chapter. ‘Theatre or Corroboree, what’s in a name? Framing Indigenous Australian nineteenth century commercial performance practices’ in Creating White Australia, (eds) Jane Carey and Claire McLisky, University of Sydney, 2009.

  • Maryrose Casey, Short listed Marlis Thiersch Award 2010. ADSA award for the best article or chapter. ‘Ngapartji Ngapartji: Telling Aboriginal Australian Stories’ in Get Real: Documentary Theatre Past and Present. (eds) Chris Megson & Alison Forsyth, Palgrave Macmillan 2009.

  • Maryrose Casey, Special Commendation: Award for Excellence in Early Career Research 2009, Dean of Arts Early Career Researcher of the Year Award, Monash University.

  • Felix Nobis, Graduate Research Prize 2008 (School of English, Communications and Performance Studies, Monash University)

  • Maryrose Casey, Shortlisted Marlis Thiersch Award 2008. ADSA award for the best article or chapter. ‘Carnivalising Sovereignty: Containing Indigenous Protest within the ‘white’ Australian nation’,About Performance 7 2007

  • Maryrose Casey, Honourable mention: Award for Excellence in Early Career Research 2007. Dean of Arts Early Career Researcher of the Year Award, Monash University.

  • Maryrose Casey, Rob Jordan Prize, 2006. Australasian Association for the study of Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies award for the best book of drama, theatre and performance studies scholarship of the previous 2 years. (awarded to Creating Frames: Contemporary Indigenous Theatre, UQP, 2004)

  • Maryrose Casey, Dwight Conquergood Award, 2006. Performance Studies international ECR/artist award for work around cultural performance that approaches ‘ethnographic research as an ethical act, an act of performative witnessing’.

  • Maryrose Casey, Walter McRae Russell Award, 2005. Association for the Study of Australian Literature award for the best work of literary scholarship in the previous 2 years (co-winner). (awarded to Creating Frames: Contemporary Indigenous Theatre, UQP, 2004)

 

Creative Awards & Prizes

  • Jane Griffiths, Sappho…in 9 fragments – Shortlisted for NSW Premier’s Literary Awards 2011 (Best New Play);

  • Jane Griffiths, Sappho…in 9 fragments – Shortlisted for Louis Esson Prize for Drama, Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2011.

  • Jane Griffiths, R E Ross Script Development Award, 2011

  • Felix Nobis, R E Ross Trust Script Development Award, 2010

 

Research Fellowships

  • Will Peterson, Visiting Professor, Theatre Studies/ Theaterwetenschap, University of Amsterdam 2010. Master’s Program in International Performance Research (MAIPR) with University of Warwick and Universities of Tampere & Helsinki.

  • Will Peterson, Research Fellow, Dept. of Theatre & Speech Communications, University of the Philippines, Diliman, 2010.

  • Will Peterson, Visiting Professor, Fine Arts Program, Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines, 2007.

  • Maryrose Casey, National and State Libraries of Australasia Fellowship, 2005.

 

External grants

  • Maryrose Casey, ARC DP10 ‘Performing Indigenous Sovereignty: Aboriginal Australian commercial performances 1800-1949’ ($155,000) 2010-2012

  • Maryrose Casey, ARC LEIF ‘AusStage Phase 4: Harnessing collective intelligence and pioneering new visual methodologies for innovative research into Australian live performance’, lead CI Prof Julie Holledge, administered by Flinders University.($650,000) Monash CI ($24,000) 2010

  • Jane Griffiths, ARC Linkage: Staging Sappho – towards a new methodology for performance reception. ($300,000). 2009-2012

  • Maryrose Casey, ARC LIEF grant ‘AusStage: Gateway to Australian live performance, phase 3 – enhancing collaborative research methodologies through digital networking technologies’, lead CI Prof Julie Holledge, administered by Flinders University. ($300,000) Monash CI ($15,400) 2007

  • Maryrose Casey, ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship, Confronting Representations: Performing Indigenous protests.’ ($210,000). 2005-2007