Classic-ing on the Australian Mainstream Stage : The Place and Phenomenon of Classic in Australian Mainstream Theatre 1995-2016

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    • Abstract:
      This book evaluates classic drama as an active creation. To classic is a complex theatrical practice that animates program choice, casting and staging, audience reception and critical response. Analysis of six distinct examples of pre-determined and self-nominated classic productions on the Australian mainstage is informed by postcolonial theory, specifically the settler dilemma of Indigenous cultural authority. What happens to the political edge of postcolonial aspiration within the status of classic? Close consideration of staging and casting, theatre historical perspectives, and interviews with key artists, expands the concept of classic as a dimension of theatrical and not only of dramatic reception. This book responds to a polarised debate that focused on auteur directors and the relative value of new vs classic plays. Rather than adopting a position, the study undertakes a deeper assessment of the phenomenon and place of the dramatic classic in Australian mainstream theatre.
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