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A Splendid Adventure

Australian Suffrage Theatre on the World Stage

Susan Bradley Smith

Australia led the world in the achievement of woman’s suffrage and the nation’s cultural history reflects this ambitious and progressive atmosphere. The impressive achievements of suffrage feminists in Australian theatre, however, are an untold story, as is their contribution to the development of international women’s theatre of the time. A Splendid Adventure brings these experiences and experiments to light through a group biography exploring the theatrical careers of Katharine Susannah Prichard, Stella Miles Franklin, and Inez Isabel Bensusan. Chosen because of their expatriate involvement in the women’s movement, their international profile as enfranchised Australian women, and their exceptional contribution to both the development of Australian drama and international feminist theatre, these women embody the energies and passions of Australian suffrage playwrights. The biographies of these major figures are accompanied by the dramatic stories of the New Women playwrights, the theatrical endeavours of women university students, and a consideration of international feminist theatre on tour in Australia, including the work of migrant suffragette Adela Pankhurst. The volume also includes the full text of a play by each playwright. Australian suffrage playwrights emerge from this study as exceptional feminists, expatriates, and theatre workers, whose «splendid adventures» have considerable implications for international women’s theatre, feminist dramatic criticism, and Australian theatre historiography.

BIC Classifications

  • The arts (A)
    • Theatre studies (AN)
  • Biography & True Stories (B)
    • Biography: general (BG)
      • Biography: arts & entertainment (BGF)
  • Literature & literary studies (D)
    • Plays, playscripts (DD)
  • Society & social sciences (J)
    • Society & culture: general (JF)
      • Cultural studies (JFC)
      • Social groups (JFS)
        • Gender studies, gender groups (JFSJ)
          • Gender studies: women (JFSJ1)
  • Geographical (1)
    • Australasia, Oceania & other land areas (1M)
      • Australasia (1MB)
        • Australia (1MBF)

BISAC Classifications

  • Drama (DRA)
    • DRAMA / General (DRA000000)
  • Social Science (SOC)
    • SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies (SOC028000)

THEMA Classifications

  • The Arts (A)
    • Performing arts (AT)
      • Theatre studies (ATD)
  • Biography, Literature & Literary studies (D)
    • Plays, playscripts (DD)
      • Modern & contemporary plays (c 1900 onwards) (DDC)
    • Biography & non-fiction prose (DN)
      • Biography: general (DNB)
        • Biography: arts & entertainment (DNBF)
  • Society & Social Sciences (J)
    • Society & culture: general (JB)
      • Cultural & media studies (JBC)
        • Cultural studies (JBCC)
      • Social groups (JBS)
        • Gender studies, gender groups (JBSF)
          • Gender studies: women & girls (JBSF1)
  • Geographical qualifiers (1)
    • Australiasia, Oceania & Other land areas (1M)
      • Australasia (1MB)
        • Australia (1MBF)