Category:20th-century Australian dramatists and playwrights
Pages in category "20th-century Australian dramatists and playwrights"
The following 96 pages are in this category, out of 96 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 96 pages are in this category, out of 96 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Oscar Asche – He married the actress Lily Brayton in 1898, and the two were often paired onstage for many years. He played Maldonado in Arthur Wing Pineros Iris in the West End in 1901 and he repeated the role on Broadway the following year, and then joined Herbert Beerbohm Trees theatre company in London in 1902, playing more Shakespearean roles over the next few years. In 1911 Edward Knoblock wrote the play Kismet for him, Asche revised and shortened it, and the production enjoyed great success in London and on tour with Asche in the leading role of Hajj. Asche most famously wrote and produced Chu Chin Chow, starring himself and his wife, during the run, among other projects, he directed the hit London production of The Maid of the Mountains. From 1922 to 1924 he toured in Australia with the J C Williamson company, as a result of his high-spending lifestyle, he was declared bankrupt in 1926. Though his success as a producer waned, he continued to direct and act, including in several films, Asche was born in Geelong, Victoria, Australia. His father, Thomas, born in Norway, studied law at Christiania University, after being a digger, a mounted police officer and a storekeeper, Thomas Asche became a prosperous hotel-keeper and publican in Melbourne and Sydney. Asches mother, Thomas Asches second wife, Harriet Emma, née Trear, was born in England, Asche was educated at Laurel Lodge in Dandenong and the Melbourne Grammar School, which he left at 16. He then went on a voyage to China, and after his return to Australia was articled to an architect who died soon afterwards. A few months later, he ran away and lived in the bush for some weeks and he returned to his parents and obtained a position in an office, but he had now decided to become an actor and made a beginning by getting up private theatricals at his home. He travelled to Fiji and on his return his father agreed to him to Norway to study acting. At Bergen, Asche was instructed in deportment, voice production and he found the Norwegian acting technique to be easy and natural. Two months later, he went to Christiania to study acting, there he met Henrik Ibsen, who advised him to go to his own country and work in his own language. Asche then went to London and was so impressed by Henry Irving and Ellen Terry in Henry VIII, more study followed in London, where he worked to lose his Australian accent. He was fortunate in having an allowance of £10 a week from his father, in December 1892 he went to Norway again to give a Shakespeare recital, which was successful and brought him a little money. On 25 March 1893 Asche made his first appearance on the stage, at the Opera Comique Theatre, London and he then joined the F. R. Benson Company and for eight years gained experience an actor. Among other venues, they played at the summer Stratford festivals and he started with small parts and was eventually cast as Charles the Wrestler in As You Like It, being well suited because of his excellent physique. His other early roles included Biondello in The Taming of the Shrew and he was paid a salary of £2 10s
2. Alfred Deakin – Alfred Deakin was a leader of the movement for Australian federation and later the second Prime Minister of Australia. Deakin was a contributor to the establishment of liberal reforms in the colony of Victoria. He also played a part in establishing irrigation in Australia. Throughout the 1890s Deakin was a participant in conferences of representatives of the Australian colonies that were established to draft a constitution for the proposed federation and he played an important role in ensuring that the draft was liberal and democratic and in achieving compromises to enable its eventual success. Between conferences, he worked to popularise the concept of federation and he then fought hard to ensure acceptance of the proposed constitution by the Government of the United Kingdom. As Prime Minister, Deakin completed a significant legislative program that makes him, with Labors Andrew Fisher, Deakin resigned from Parliament prior to the 1913 election, with Joseph Cook winning the Liberal Party leadership ballot. Alfred was born on 3 August 1856, Deakin worked as a storekeeper, water-carter and general carrier and then became a partner in a coaching business and later manager of Cobb and Co in Victoria. In 1871 he graduated with good passes in history, algebra and Euclid and basic passes in English and he began evening classes in law at the University of Melbourne, while working as a schoolteacher and private tutor. Deakin graduated in 1877 and began practising as a barrister, but had difficulty in obtaining briefs, in May 1878, he met David Syme, the owner of the Melbourne daily The Age, who paid him to contribute reviews, leaders and articles on politics and literature. In 1880, he became editor of The Leader, The Ages weekly, during this period Syme converted him from supporting free trade to protectionism. He became active in the Australian Natives Association and began to practise vegetarianism, the radical Premier, Graham Berry, offered him the position of Attorney-General in August, but Deakin turned him down. In 1882, Deakin married Elizabeth Martha Anne Browne, daughter of a well-known spiritualist and they lived with Deakins parents until 1887, when they moved to Llanarth, in Walsh Street, South Yarra. They had three daughters, Ivy, Stella and Vera by 1891, in 1883 Deakin became Commissioner for Public Works and Water Supply, and in 1884 he became Solicitor-General and Minister of Public Works. In 1885 Deakin secured the passage of the colonys pioneering Factories and Shops Act, enforcing regulation of employment conditions, in December 1884 he went to the United States to investigate irrigation, and presented a report in June 1885, Irrigation in Western America. Percival Serle described this report as a piece of accurate observation. In June 1886, he introduced legislation to nationalise water rights, in 1885, Deakin became Chief Secretary and Commissioner for Water Supply and from 1890 Minister for Health and, briefly, Solicitor-General. In 1889, he became the member for the Melbourne seat of Essendon and Flemington, in 1890 the government was brought down over its use of the militia to protect non-union labour during the maritime strike. In addition, Deakin lost his fortune and his fathers fortune in the property crash of 1893, in 1892, he unsuccessfully defended the mass murderer Frederick Bailey Deeming and assisted the defence in the 1893–94 libel trial of David Syme
3. Malcolm Afford – Malcolm Max Afford was an Australian playwright and novelist. Afford was born in Adelaide, South Australia, the youngest son of Robert D, Afford of Glenleigh, Stamford street Parkside, an inner suburb. He left school when he was 16, and started writing novels, Max married Thelma Thomas on 16 April 1938 at St Michaels church, Vaucluse, Sydney. Max and Thelma did not have children, Afford died of cancer on 2 November 1954 at Mosman, Sydney, and was cremated. Thelma Afford survived him until 1996, numerous condolence letters from his friends, colleagues and admirers were sent to his wife from around Australia and from overseas including the US, the UK and Hong Kong. Max was one of the sweetest, gayest and most endearing people I have ever encountered, Tom Inglis Moore said, He was such an attractive person in himself, and he had outstanding gifts. As a writer he was at the top of the profession as a writer for radio. His stage plays showed that if he had gone on, he would have become an important playwright, I felt that Max had the talent to have gone even further in achievement. He had such a vitality that it is hard to realize the truth. Then Chairman of ABC, Sir Richard Boyer, wrote, Max was not only the most valued contributor to some of the best of our broadcasts, but was held in great respect and affection by all of us in the ABC. David Carver, the International Secretary and General Secretary of English PEN expressed gratitude for his contributions to Australian literary life, owed him a great deal for all the hard work and enthusiasm of his years as President. Ernest William Burbridge, Representative of the British Council in Australia, wrote that was so devoted to his art, Max Afford wrote three novels while in his twenties, which were later published in England and America. He worked as a reporter at the News and Mail from 1926 to 1931 and his first story was published in Smiths Weekly in 1928. In 1936 he won the Advertisers centenary play competition with William Light The Founder and his Jeffrey Blackburn novels included Blood on His Hands. and Deaths Mannikins. Many were dramatised for radio, starring Peter Finch and Neva Carr Glyn as the detective team. He was considered somewhat of a pioneer of the whodunit in radio broadcasting, a science fiction story, The Gland Men of the Island, appeared in Wonder Stories in January 1931. Afford was one of the first contract writers to be engaged by the ABC, in 1936, he won three playwriting awards, and was appointed Staff Dramatist by the ABC, with whom he was contracted for six years. During this time he wrote 30 one-and-a-half-hour plays,15 serials, more than 100 play adaptations, from 1941 he wrote childrens and adult radio serials including Hagens Circus for radio 2GB and 2UE
4. James Crawford (playwright) – James Crawford was an Australian playwright and commentator who wrote political plays, feature articles for newspapers and was very involved in many social and political groups. He was best known for his plays Rocket Range and Billets, Crawford wrote twenty-four plays and twenty-one skits which are known about. Some of the plays were turned into radio dramas, Crawford also wrote numerous newspaper articles in relation to political and social problems at the time which led him to be well respected in the community. Crawford was born in Manchester, England in 1908 and arrived in Australia in 1924, as a playwright, Crawford was influenced by William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe. He was also influenced by the Communist Party of Australia. In an article written by Crawford about Elizabethan Theatre he wrote that In the Elizabethan Theatre, Shakespeare spoke with the voice of the people. From the themes of the written by Crawford it is clear he has tried to emulate both Marlowe and Shakespeare. Crawford was an important member of the Roving Reds Revue Company, New Theatre Club and he also made contributions to several other groups. Crawford also spent time in the Army Services after marrying Ursula Hills in 1938, after his divorce from Ursula, Crawford married Pamela Crawford in 1949. Crawford continued writing right up until his death at Greenslopes Hospital on 11 November 1973, james Crawford was the son of John Oakden Potter, a civil engineer, and Janet Keer, who was originally from the island of Arran. He was born in Manchester, England on 6 December 1908 as John Oakden, Crawford was the youngest of the family with four other brothers and sisters. Crawfords mother died when he was years old, leaving his eldest sister to run the household. Whilst attending a school in Manchester, Crawford began to develop an interest in Shakespeare which he was taught to instead of reading it out aloud. In 1924 Crawford finished up at his school with the intention of traveling. At the young age of 16 he found himself on a ship destined for Australia, Crawford had originally intended to travel to Canada, however, his father suggested Australia because of the warmer climate. Crawford described his younger self as a starry eyed idealist, once in Australia, Crawford worked as a stockman on a cattle station known as Kamileroi. For the next five years, he worked as a hand in the Gulf Country. Working in the Gulf Country alongside the Indigenous Australian people and seeing the way in which they were treated spurred Crawfords passion for equal rights
5. Dulcie Deamer – Mary Elizabeth Kathleen Dulcie Deamer was an Australian novelist, poet, journalist and actor born in Christchurch, New Zealand. She was a founder and committee member of the Fellowship of Australian Writers, Deamer was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, daughter of George Edwin Deamer, a physician from Lincolnshire, and his New Zealand-born wife, Mable Reader. She was taught at home by her mother, who had been a governess and she married Albert Goldie, a theatrical agent, in Perth, Australia, on 27 August 1908. She bore six children, but separated from Goldie in 1922, in the 1920–30s Dulcie Deamer was a poet, playwright and author in Sydney, where she was Australias first female boxing reporter. Deamer was known as the Queen of Bohemia due to her involvement with Norman Lindsays literary and artistic circle, the Bohemian world of Kings Cross, Sydney, and vaudeville. During the inter-war years, many balls were held in Sydney, Dulcie Deamer attended every Artists Ball for 30 years. A modern critic has noted that Deamers work demonstrates a fascination with religion, mythology, poems written by Deamer appeared in the souvenir program of the 1924 ball along with those of Kenneth Slessor. She had written an autobiography in the 1960s. Her daughter, the theologian Rosemary Goldie, died at Randwick as well, Australian Women Writers, A Bibliographic Guide. Works by or about Dulcie Deamer at Internet Archive Dulcie Deamers Australian theatre credits at AusStage Artists Balls
6. Millicent Armstrong – Millicent Sylvia Armstrong was an Australian playwright and farmer who wrote primarily about the experiences of country life in early 20th century Australia. Armstrong was born in Waverley, Sydney on 1 May 1888 and she was the fourth daughter of Irish-born William Harvey Armstrong and Tasmanian-born Jeanie. She matriculated in French and Latin in 1905 and entered Sydney University to study arts and she graduated BA with first class honours in English in 1910. Millicents sister, Helen, with whom she would collaborate on plays, in 1914 Armstrong travelled to England to pursue a writing career but became involved in World War I work almost immediately. She won the Croix de guerre for bravery in rescuing wounded soldiers while under fire and it was during her time as a nurse at the Hospital Auxiliaire dArmee No. Never were audiences more kindly and easy to entertain, anything went down with them, from wildest melodrama to pantomime and variety shows. In 1919, after the war, Armstrong returned to Australia, in 1921 she took up a soldier settlement block of land in Clear Hills, Gunning, New South Wales. The farm which was 1028 acres had previously belonged to her sister Inas husband and it adjoined land later acquired by her sister, Helen. They farmed vegetables, flowers, pigs and wool together but faced indebtedness, after Helens death in 1939, Millicent became a grazier in Kirkdale, Yarra, near Goulburn. By 1953, she was living in the city of Goulburn where she died in 1973, Millicent Armstrong wrote plays and an unpublished novel, Five Pretty Sisters, with her sister, Helen. None of her wartime writing survives, but the plays she wrote in Australia were well received, eleven plays survive and some have been republished in collections. Armstrongs first post-war play was Fire, which won third prize in the Sydney Daily Telegraph playwriting competition in 1923, the play was chosen from over 100 submissions, winning the award for the best one act play written by an Australian or New Zealander. It was produced at the Playhouse, Melbourne, in June 1924, in 1934 it was one of three prize winners in the International One-Act Play Theatres 1934 competition and was produced at St Martins Theatre, London on 3 June 1934. Drought was also broadcast from London by the BBC on 11 December 1934, the play was published in London by Harrap,1934, Prize One Act Plays and then in a collection of Armstrongs plays, Plays in One Act in 1958. The play At Dusk was published in the 1937 collection Best Australian One-Act Plays editing by Tom Inglis-Moore and it was toured by Phoenix Productions in 1956, among other productions. Armstrongs other plays include, The Mood Sets Goblin Gold Windward Nina The Unfortunate Archibalds was written with Millicents sister Helen, austLit Author Entry Campbell Howard Collection of Australian Plays held at the University of New England. The Campbell Howard Annotated index of Australian Plays 1920–1955 compiled and edited by Jack Bedson and Julian Croft, updated by Karl G. Schmude
7. Maie Casey, Baroness Casey – Ethel Marian Sumner Maie Casey, Baroness Casey AC, FRSA was an Australian pioneer aviator, poet, librettist, biographer, memoirist and artist. Robert Menzies famously referred to her as Lady Macbeth, ethel Marian Sumner Ryan was born in 1892, younger child of Victorian-born parents, Sir Charles Snodgrass Ryan, a prominent Melbourne surgeon, and his wife, Alice Lady Ryan. She is also the granddaughter of Charles Ryan and Marian Cotton and she became known as Maie at an early age. She was related by blood or marriage to leading Victorian families, one of her fathers sisters married Lord Charles Montagu Douglas Scott, Casey grew up on Collins street, Melbourne. Her father had his residence and surgery on the same street, Casey was educated privately, and when she was 14 years old she left Australia to attend St Georges Boarding School in Ascot, England. After some time she accompanied her brother to Cologne and her brother Rupert, a member of the House of Representatives 1940-52, married Lady Rosemary Hay, daughter of the 21st Earl of Erroll. Casey wanted to go to university, but was blocked by her father, during World War I, she served as a VAD nurse. Maie Ryan married Richard Casey on 24 June 1926, at St Jamess Parish Church, Westminster and she supported him in his public life. His career saw them live successively in Canberra, Washington, Cairo, and India, in Washington, D. C. she was an eloquent advocate of the United States joining the Allied cause. Casey also associated with Noel Coward, Patrick White, Katharine Hepburn, Cecil Beaton and Sidney, an Australian Story, 1837-1907, published in 1962 discussed the history of four generations of her family. Tides and Eddies was published in 1966 and an account of her married life. In 1980, Rare Encounters included the reminiscences of Lady Edwina Mountbatten, Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, Dame Nellie Melba, Casey also published in 1975 a biography on Dame Nellie Melba, entitled Melba Re-visited. She further produces two volumes of verse, Verses, in 1963 and From the Night in 1976 and she further co-authored Early Melbourne Architecture 1840-1888 in 1953. Casey further wrote a libretto to Margaret Sutherlands opera The Young Kabbarli, Casey was a painter and illustrator. She attended the Westminster School of Art in London and in Australia associated with the George Bell School in Melbourne and she illustrated Ellis Rowans 1961s Wild flower Hunter and her own book, An Australian Story. She was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and she became the patron of the Australian Women Pilots Association at its inaugural meeting at Bankstown on 16 September 1950. In January 1960, Richard Casey was made a peer of the United Kingdom House of Lords. After his retirement as Governor-General of Australia, they purchased a house built by Eugene von Guerard in East Melbourne, Lady Casey was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1982 and died in January 1983, aged 90
8. Dymphna Cusack – Ellen Dymphna Cusack AM was an Australian author. Born in Wyalong, New South Wales, Cusack was educated at Saint Ursulas College, Kingsgrove, and graduated from the University of Sydney with a degree in Arts. She worked as a teacher until she retired in 1944 for health reasons and her illness was confirmed in 1978 as multiple sclerosis. Cusack wrote twelve novels, seven plays, three books, two childrens books and one non-fiction book. Her collaborative novels were Pioneers on Parade with Miles Franklin, the play Red Sky at Morning was filmed in 1944, starring Peter Finch. The biography Caddie, the Story of a Barmaid, to which Cusack wrote an introduction, the novel Come In Spinner was produced as a television series by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 1989, and broadcast in March 1990. Her younger brother, John, was also an author, writing the war novel They Hosed Them Out under the pseudonym John Beede, Cusack advocated social reform and described the need for reform in her writings. She contributed to the peace movement during the Cold War era as an antinuclear activist. She and her husband Norman Freehill were members of the Communist Party, Cusack was a foundation member of the Australian Society of Authors in 1963. She had refused an Order of the British Empire, but was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1981 for her contribution to Australian literature. In 2011, Cusack was one of 11 authors, including Elizabeth Jolley and Manning Clark, to be recognised by the addition of brass plaques at the Writers Walk. Dymphna Cusack, a Feminist Analysis of Gender in her Romantic Realistic Texts