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Australian theatre publications


Australian plays for the colonial stage: 1834-1899 / edited by Richard fotheringham; music edited by Angela Turner. St Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press. c2006.


Australian theatre design / edited by Kim Spinks. Paddington NSW: Australian Production Designers Association, NSW, 1992. 162p. Includes bibliographical references. 


Bagot, E D A. Coppin the great, father of the Australian theatre.  Melbourne, Melbourne University Press, 1965.  356 p., illus. Chronicles the life and times of George Coppin, 1819-1906, one of the outstanding actor-managers of Australian theatre in the I9th century.


Bell, John. John Bell: the time of my life. Allen & Unwin, 2002. Four decades of a life in British and Australian theatre.


Bevan, Ian. The story of the Theatre Royal. Sydney: currency Press, 1993


Blundell, Graeme. Australian theatre / backstage with Graeme Blundell. Melbourne, OUP, 1997. Sources and quotations 1793-1006. 


Brisbane, Katharine. Not wrong - just different: observations on the rise of contemporary Australian theatre. Strawberry Hills, NSW: Currency Press, 2005.


Carroll, Dennis. Australian contemporary drama 1909-1982. New York: Peter Lang, 1985. 


Carroll, William. Innovation and experiment in the Australian theatre since 1915. PhD thesis. Northwestern University Illinois, 1969. 


Clark, John. The NIDA book. Focus Publishing, 2003. Covers the 44-year history of NIDA from 1959 and of associated ventures like The Old Tote, Jane Street and NIDA Company. 144 pages, 200 photographs.  


Dicker, I G. JCW: a short biography of James Cassius Williamson.  Rose Bay, NSW: Elizabeth Tudor Press, 1974. 212 p, illus. JC Williamson was one of the great actor-managers and impresarios of the 19th century.  His company was the dominant force on the performing arts in Australia until the arrival of television.  


Directory of Amateur Theatre and Musical Theatre Groups in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Sydney: Arts Council of NSW, 1996.


Fitton, D. Not without dust and heat: my life in the theatre.  Sydney, Harper & Row, 1981. 200p., illus. The Independent Theatre was one of Sydney's most active theatres between 1930 and 1977.  Doris Fitton was its founder and driving force.  A list of productions is included.


Fitzpatrick, Peter. After The doll: Australian drama since 1955. Melbourne: Arnold, 1979. 


Fraser, Corille. Come to dazzle: Sarah Bernhardt's Australian tour. Sydney: Currency Press in association with the National Library of Australia, 1998..


Holloway, Peter, editor. Contemporary Australian drama. Revised edition. Sydney: Currency Press, 1987.


Hutton, G. 'It won't last a week!': the first twenty years of the Melbourne Theatre Company.  Melbourne, Macmillan, 1975. 164 p., illus. A history of Australia’s longest surviving state theatre company, with a complete list of plays presented and of artists who have appeared with the company, 1953-1974.


Irvin, E. Australian melodrama: eighty years of popular theatre.  Sydney: Hale & Iremonger, 1981. 160 p., illus. A brief survey of 19th century popular theatre in Australia dealing mainly with plays written by Australian residents and given their first production in Australia, 1834-1914.  The plays are listed in an appendix together with operas, operettas, musical comedies, burlesques and extravanganzas written and produced in the period.  With bibliography.


Irvin, E.. Dictionary of the Australian theatre, 1788-1914. Sydney; Hale & Iremonger, 1985.


Irvin, E. Gentleman George, king of melodrama: the theatrical life and times of George Darrell, 1841-1921.  St Lucia, Q. , University of Queensland Press, 1980. 234 p., illus. reconstruction of the life of actor-manager and dramatist, George Darrell, and of Australian theatre generally in the 19th century, with a critical assessment of Darrell's plays


Irvin, E. Theatre comes to Australia.  St Lucia, Q., University of Queensland Press, 1971. 260 p., illus. A detailed account of the Theatre Royal, Sydney, Australia's first permanent theatre and a biography of its founder, Barnett Levy.  Includes a list of plays, pantomimes and ballets performed at the theatre, 1832-1838.


Jordan, Robert. The convict theatres of New South Wales, 1788-1840. Strawberry Hills, Currency House, 2002.


Kelly, Veronica. The empire actors: stars of Australasian costume drama 1890s-1920s. Strawberry Hills, NSW: Currency House, 2010.


Kingsmill, John. My brief strut upon the stage. Torrens Park, SA: Jacobyte, 2001. Memoir covering among other things the Independent Theatre and its production Rusty Bugles.


Kingston, C. It don't seem a day too much.  Adelaide, Rigby, 1971. 208 p., illus. A highly personal account of the author's career as a celebrity concert manager with JC Williamson Theatres Ltd from 1920 to the 1960s.


Kippax, H.G. A leader of his craft: theatre reviews by HG Kippax; selected and introduced by Harry Heseltine. Forward by Sylvia Lawson. Strawberry Hills, NSW: Currency House, 2004.


Leahy, Kath. Lords and larrikins: the actor's role in the making of Australia. Strawberry Hills, NSW: Currency House, 2009.


McGuire, P. The Australian theatre: an abstract and brief chronicle in twelve parts with characteristic illustrations, by P. McGuire, with B. Arnott and FM McGuire. Melbourne, Oxford University Press, 1948. 183 p., illus. A history of Australian theatre up to the visit of the Old Vic Company in 1948.  Most of the book is devoted to the l9th century.


Meadows, A. and Warnock, A. Subsidized theatre in Australia.  Beauty Point, NSW. A. Meadows & Co., 1975. 586 p. A report prepared for the Australia Council on "the attitudes and opinions of audience and potential audience, administrators, actors and the public’s views generally concerning the problems and economic position of theatre in Australia".


Meyrick, Julian. See how it runs: Nimrod and the New Wave. Sydney: Currency Press, 2002. 


Ogilvie, George. Simple gifts: a life in the theatre. Strawberry Hills, NSW: Currency House, 2006.


Onstage vol 1 no 1, 1999-  / Victorian Theatres Trust. Published quarterly. Contact: The Secretary, Elizabeth Kumm, 14/246 Albert Street, East Melbourne, Victoria, 3002. Email: Theatre history, biography, news, mainly relevant to Melbourne and regional Victoria..  


Osric. The romance of the Sydney stage / by Osric [ie] Humphrey Hall and Alfred John Cripps. Sydney: Currency Press in association with the National Library of Australia. 1996. 323 p. An evocative account of 19th century theatre in Sydney, written in the first decade of the 20th century by two Sydney journalists. 


Power, Leo. The Alfred Dampier Sydney Season 1885-1886. Private publication by Leo Power.


Radic, Leonard. Contemporary Australian drama. Blackheath NSW: Brandl & Schlesinger, 2006. Available through Macmillan Distribution Services.


Rees, Leslie. A history of Australian drama. Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1973-1978.


Robertson, Tim. The Pram Factory. the Australian Performing Group Recollected. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2001


Stewart, N. My life’s story. Sydney, John Sands, 1923.  314 p., illus. The autobiography of one of Australia’s pre-eminent actresses whose career spanned six decades from the 1860s until her death in 1931.  Well illustrated


Tait, V. A family of brothers: the Taits and JC Williamson; a theatre history.  Melbourne, Heinemann, 1971. 303 p., illus. A personal account of the Tait family whose five brothers controlled the fortunes of J. & N. Tait and JC Williamson Theatres Ltd, the world's largest theatre chain, for almost half a century.


Tallis, Mike and Tallis Joan. The silent showman. Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 2003. History of the first 50 years of JCW Theatres and biography of Sir George Tallis. See also: .


Thomson, John. It's Australian - and it's good! The Australian musical Collits' Inn. John Thomson explores the history of one of the earliest Australian musicals. National Library of Australia News December 2003: 7-10


Thorne, R. Theatre buildings in Australia to 1905: from the time of the first settlement to the arrival of cinema.  Sydney, Architectural Research Foundation, University of Sydney, 1971. 2 vols. illus. A scholarly account of theatre buildings, illustrated with photographs and architectural drawings.


Thorne, R. Theatres in Australia an historical perspective of significant buildings.  Sydney, Department of Architecture, University of Sydney, 1977. 60 p, illus. The Kathleen Robinson lecture delivered at the University of Sydney- on 22 June 1976.  A supplement to the author's Theatre buildings in Australia to 1905, covering the same period.  


Van Straten, Frank. Huge deal: the fortunes and follies of Hugh D. McIntosh. South Melbourne: Lothian Books, 2004.


West, J. Theatre in Australia.  Stanmore, NSW: Cassell, 1978. 260 p, illus. A comprehensive history of Australian show business, including vaudeville and variety theatre.  Generously illustrated.  


Zeplin, Pamela. Drama and design: the artists and the theatre, Melbourne, 1900-1950. MA thesis, Monash University, 1989. Microfiche version held by the National Library of Australia. 


See also: Australis Project: Sources on 19th Century Australian Theatre




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