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Siting the Other

Re-visions of Marginality in Australian and English-Canadian Drama


Marc Maufort and Franca Bellarsi

The emergence of contemporary Australian and English-Canadian multicultural drama undoubtedly constitutes a fascinating development in the history of international literatures written in English. These postcolonial plays offer ideal vantage points from which to observe the struggle of two comparable Commonwealth countries to accommodate the pluralism of their social fabric. As the prominent theatre scholars of this collection cogently argue, the articulation of otherness forms a central concern in the drama of these two countries. The postcolonial playwrights studied in this book interpret marginality as an expression of resistance against the legacy of Empire, often through the weapon of subversive mimicry. The organising spatial metaphor of the book suggests new readings of the «other» as an evolving site of contestation. This volume articulates a new form of comparative poetics, in which dramatic texts are used as reflecting mirrors, as privileged tools to explore the similarity and otherness that Australia and Canada share.
Contents: Marc Maufort: Siting the Other: Cross-cultural Re-visions of Marginality – Marc Maufort: Forging an «Aboriginal Realism»: First Nations Playwriting in Australia and Canada – Helen Thomson: Aboriginal Women’s Staged Autobiography – Helena Grehan: «Implacement» and Belonging: Dramatising White Women’s Stories in Tiger Country – Maryrose Casey: Siting Themselves: Indigenous Australian Theatre Companies – Jacqueline Lo: Playing the Yellow Lady: Performing Gender and Race – Susan Pfisterer: History and Mystery and Suffragettes on the Australian Stage: A Consideration of Women’s Suffrage as Presented in Australian Theatre – Bruce Parr: Queer/Irony in Nick Enright’s Drama – Peta Tait: Queer Circus Bodies in Rock’n’Roll Circus’s The Dark and Club Swing’s Razor Baby – Tom Burvill: Urban Theatre Projects: Re-Siting Marginal Communities in Outer Western Sydney – Paul Makeham: Fear and Desire Under the Big Sky: Brink Visual Theatre and the Post-colonial Australian Landscape – Peter Fitzpatrick: Spot the Infidel: Aspects of Multiculturalism in Mainstream Australian Theatre – Gerry Turcotte: «Collaborating with Ghosts»: Dispossession in The Book of Jessica and The Mudrooroo/Mueller Project – Anne Nothof: Canadian «Ethnic» Theatre: Fracturing the Mosaic – Albert-Reiner Glaap: Drew Hayden Taylor’s Dramatic Career – Robert Appleford: Making Relations Visible in Native Canadian Performance – Ric Knowles: Translators, Traitors, Mistresses, and Whores: Monique Mojica and the Mothers of the Métis Nations – Ann Wilson: Beatrice Chancy: Slavery, Martyrdom and the Female Body – Alan Filewod: «From Twisted History»: Reading Angélique – Robert Wallace: Defying Category: Re/viewing John Herbert’s Fortune and Men’s Eyes – Robert Nunn: Crackwalking: Judith Thompson’s Marginal Characters – Reid Gilbert: Escaping the «Savage Slot»: Interpellation and Transgression in George F. Walker’s Suburban Motel – Joanne Tompkins: «Fatherlands and Mother-Tongues»: Family Histories and Futures in Recent Australian and Canadian Multicultural Theatre – Maryrose Casey: Garden of Drama: Talking to John Harding.