2018 Philip Parsons Lecture

In this year’s Phillip Parsons lecture, award-winning playwright Alana Valentine reflects on her experience of bringing into the theatre the lived experience of diverse, community, regional and local audiences to hear their own stories in the context of the collective gaze. She argues that the unique nature of live theatre for an audience is both the individual and shared experience of ourselves and she explores how contemporary theatre, as well as entertaining, must still be a way to allow audiences to mutually connect with each other, to collectively face ugly and sometimes difficult truths in important and community changing ways.

Using examples from her plays Letters to Lindy, The Sugar House, Barbara and the Camp Dogs, Ladies Day, Run Rabbit Run, Parramatta Girls, Ear To the Edge of Time and Comin’ Home Soon, Alana looks to the engagement of increasingly diverse and eloquent audiences and the sacred trust that artists have with theatre-goers.

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