Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of the Arts, English and Media


Playing With Text examines the distinct approaches to text characterising the contemporary Australian theatre landscape through an analysis of The Sovereign Wife (2013) by Sisters Grimm, Moving Target (2008), directed by Benedict Andrews, and M + M (2013) by the Daniel Schlusser Ensemble. Each of these examples constitute a different engagement with text; from pre-written drafts for performance to text developed through rehearsal and theatrical responses to text emerging from alternative mediums - specifically the novel. In addition, the thesis presents an exegetical account of the practical theatre project Tom William Mitchell, first produced at the University of Wollongong in July 2017 and includes the text of this work and a DVD recording of the production. Tom William Mitchell explores the practical application of dramaturgical concepts outlined in the thesis and, in doing so, attests to how they employ text in intermedial modes of performance. In this way, Playing With Text seeks to contribute to the conceptualisation of recent textual dramaturgies by demonstrating that the term text-based theatre fails to account for the specific encounters with text created by a number of artists through dramaturgical approaches that foreground theatre as a site of medial transmission.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.