Date of Award

2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Creative Writing)

School

School of Communication and Arts

Faculty

Faculty of Education And Arts

First Advisor

Associate Professor Jill Durey

Abstract

Both as a student of theatre and, eventually, as a professional practitioner, it has long been apparent to me that there is a dearth of reference material on what has become one of the modern theatre’s most important elements: the pause. Actors, directors and playwrights can only interpret the word ‘pause’ according to their own experience and its meaning remains nebulous, even after agreement has been reached in a specific context. The essay, Mind The Gap, examines the significance of the pause to these various practitioners. It suggests, with examples, close analysis of the purpose of each pause, differentiation of the terms used to denote them and interrogation of various well-known playwrights’ intentions with its use. Mind The Gap is offered as an initial investigation on which to base further, more detailed research from which students and professionals can reach agreement to find a common language to describe and define the unspoken. In Shadows, the major creative work, I use the form of the English burlesque to satirise the increasing influence that television is having on modern family life. I have experimented with filling the pauses in one narrative, the life of the Agnew family, with a second narrative, the television programme, Secret White Women’s Business. Bank Accounts, the minor work, is another experiment where several brief histories are embedded in a common narrative set in a commonplace environment. The pauses central to Bank Accounts are filled with the unspoken relationships between strangers. Both plays are intended to present women as equal players in the game of life rather than as victims of male chauvinism.

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