Researcher biography

Noëlle Janaczewska is Sydney-based researcher and writer—of performance, poetry and essays. Her work has been produced, broadcast and published throughout Australia and overseas. The exploration of language/s is a recurring theme, and much of her writing deals with history's gaps and silences, focusing on the people, plants, creatures and events overlooked or marginalised in official records.

A graduate of Oxford and London Universities, with a doctorate from the University of Technology, Sydney, Noëlle worked with, and co-established, several theatre companies and contemporary arts groups, presenting work in Britain, Germany and The Netherlands, before moving to Australia. Following 2 years as Artistic Director of The Performance Space in Sydney, she returned to freelance practice with The History of Water/Huyền Thoại Một Giòng Nước, first produced by the Sydney Theatre Company, and published by Currency Press following productions in London and Canada, Germany and Vietnam.

Noëlle's numerous nominations, grants and awards include the prestigious Windham Campbell Prize (2014) from Yale University. In Australia her plays have won a Queensland Premier's Literary Award (Mrs Petrov's Shoe), the Griffin Award (Songket) and the Playbox-Asialink Playwriting Competition. The recipient of a Centenary Medal for scriptwriting, an Asialink Literature Residency in Korea, and Fellowships from Varuna Writers' Centre, the Theatre and Literature Boards of the Australia Council, and the University of Queensland/Arts Queensland (2012-13), Noëlle's radio features My Life in Cookbooks, There's Something About Eels … and Let's Go Brazil won AWGIE Awards in 2014, 2009 and 2006, as did her radio drama Random Red in 2012, and The Rush Hour Carillon, Glissando 24 and Slowianska Street previously.

Recent works include Third Person (Union House Theatre, Melbourne, 2013), Cloud Cover for ABC Radio National in 2013, Eyewitness Blues for the BBC, The Hannah First Collection, 1919—1949 for the Zendai Museum of Modern Art in Shanghai, Disappearance (The Border Project), Taishō Chick (Art Gallery of NSW), Fearless N (Theatre Kantanka/Sydney Olympic Park) and the Movie Extra Award-winning short Duet With A Dictionary (Short & Sweet). In 2013 Playlab published Mrs Petrov's Shoe; Songket and This Territory are published by Currency Press in a 2-play edition.

In 2006 Noëlle began presenting performance essays—a term she coined to describe a hybrid which draws not only on the essay and the monologue, but also on field reports, the memoir, the mash-up, spoken word, stand-up, cultural ciriticism, the blog, reportage and the tradition of the illustrated lecture. She has presented these performance essays not only in Australia, but also in Indonesia and China. Her most recent are Blasted Island—Nauru's backstory (Sydney Opera House Festival of Dangerous Ideas, 2014) and How to Eat a Thistle (Australian Gastronomy Symposium, Newcastle, 2013).

Noëlle is a member of 7-ON Playwrights, whose inaugural project The Seven Needs was produced by the Griffin Theatre Company, and whose collection of monologues for drama students, No Nudity, Weapons or Naked Flames was published in 2012. 7-ON's current projects include Platonic, a composite work on the theme of friendship in the contemporary world, and the site-specific/immersive 13.11.35.

Alongside works for stage and radio, Noëlle publishes poems, essays, reviews, flash fiction and other short pieces in anthologies, literary journals and on-line magazines, including: Far Off Places (UK), Black Market Review (UK) Jacket, Cordite, extempore, Island, Scan, HEAT, Southerly, Imago, Voices and RePublica. In 2011 her poem Once upon a tiger won the Swale Life International Poetry Competition (UK). The poems she wrote for Kathryn Millard's film 'Travelling Light' feature on the soundtrack CD, produced by the ABC & Universal Music Australia, and her chapbook-length poem Dorothy Lamour's Life as a Phrasebook is published by Wayzgoose Press (Australia).

More information and excerpts of produced and published work at