Document Type

Creative Work

Publication Details

Catherine M. McKinnon (playwiright), Tilt, Australian National Play Festival, Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. Brisbane, 19 February 2010. Download script here; see also Australian Plays.org here; and Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts website here.



Research Background

This research for this play was conducted as a response to the cultural environment following on from the 2001 Tampa incident, and is part of a larger project investigating political shifts of power and their effect on human populations. Many theatrical works explore the refugee experience, but overlook the difficulty of representing the ‘trauma’ of third world tales from a first world perspective. Tilt explores the way terror influences not only the roles we play, but also, the tales we tell.

Research Contribution

Tilt’s unique storytelling perspective collides fragments of a third world ‘trauma’ tale with a first world stable narrative. Word and phrase repetition echo cultural patterns that shift and slide across third and first world experiences, finding difference and similarity. The play uses meta-narrative to question the notion of stable narratives and to interrogate the validity of ‘truth’ within personal stories.

Research Significance

Tilt was one of eight plays selected Australia-wide to take part in the 2010 National Playwriting Festival, where it had a public performance. After the performance, McKinnon was invited to attend the prestigious High-Tide Genesis workshop in London where Tilt received a two-week workshop. Tilt is available on australianplays.org.