Celebrating the Gothic: Angela Betzien, Inaugural UQ Drama Creative Fellow

27 Aug 2015
Angela Betzien
Photo from: autralianplays.org

The School of Communications and Arts is pleased to announce award-winning Australian playwright Angela Betzien as the inaugural UQ Drama Creative Fellow. The 2015 Creative Fellowship is a celebration of the Gothic.  

Angela will deliver a lecture on Australian Gothic drama talking specifically about the ways in which politics of race and place are activated through a Gothic lens in her drama, and that of several other contemporary Australian stage writers. In this body of work, postcolonial political sensibilities are being parsed through quite a specific generic lens in order to examine instances of national haunting, shame and trauma, the sins of the past being revisited as the 'return of the repressed' on the contemporary national stage.

Angela will also offer a playwriting masterclass to Creative Writing postgrads, students of DRAM3102 Playwriting and Dramaturgy, and other invited guests. Following on from the subject of her lecture, this practical writing workshop will look at ways of activating the landscape in theatrical ways to Gothicise mise en scene and setting. Whether it's a bush landscape, an urban milieu or a landscape of the imagination, setting and place are never incidental or accidental, and Angela will target ways in which to think strategically about their deployment in theatrical terms.

One of the highlights of the Fellowship will be a play reading of Angela’s Tall Man and Ice Age, directed by Ian Lawson. 

Angela’s hit Gothic play Children of the Black Skirt is on senior drama curricula across Queensland secondary schools and takes as its dark inspiration the history of St Joseph’s Neerkol Orphanage in Rockhampton. This institution is currently the subject of a federal Royal Commission into child abuse. Since that breakthrough text established her reputation as a national writer for young people, Angela has built upon her reputation to create works for diverse audiences that return time and again to the Gothic as a means of political and imaginative expression. 'The Dark Room' and 'War Games' are award winning examples of contemporary Gothic theatre, and her forthcoming pieces 'Mortido', 'Ice Age' and 'The Hanging' see her exploration of Global and Australian Gothic modalities continue. In an exciting coup for UQ audiences, this play reading will team her standing work 'Tall Man' up with a world premiere presentation of 'Ice Age'.

Masterclass - "Activating the Landscape"
Monday 21st September 2015
Digital Learning Studio, Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37), 2 - 4pm
Lecture - "Realizing the Gothic"
Tuesday 22nd September 2015
Room 234, Parnell Building (#7), 10 - 11am
Playreading - "Tall Man/Ice Age"
Wednesday 23rd September 2015
Geoffrey Rush Drama Studio (#22), 7pm
Please RSVP to these events by emailing communication-arts@uq.edu.au