Author Identifier

Julia Jarel

Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Master of Performing Arts (Performing Arts)


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)

First Supervisor

Dr Jonathan Marshall

Second Supervisor

Dr Frances Barbe

Third Supervisor

Associate Professor Andrew Lewis


This thesis provides a case study which investigates the notion that a building which is historically and architecturally significant to a community holds that community’s memories within its walls. It argues that, in collaboration with the members of that community, these memories can be excavated, revealed and woven together to form a piece of site-specific theatre which can then be performed by and for those community members. It proposes that this intergenerational, creative collaboration may enhance the community members’ understanding and appreciation of the significance of the building, its place in the community and their place within it.

The site of focus for this thesis is Hale School’s Memorial Hall. In order to excavate the building’s memory, members of the Hale community were invited to visit the Hall and share the recollections revealed through physical exploration of the site. Additional memories were revealed through archival research and written and verbal exchanges with community members who could not physically visit the site. These memories were then woven, in collaboration with the community, into a site-specific theatre script designed to be staged, in Memorial Hall and its surrounds, by a cast of Old Haleians, current staff members, parents and students.

This thesis consists of an original, research-based playscript, together with exegetical writing which outlines the significance of creating this work at the current time and in the chosen place. It provides new insights into methods of excavation used to reveal memory contained within a commemorative site and contributes to a broader understanding of the role of the writer in shaping the excavated memories to form a work of site-specific theatre. This thesis illustrates the importance of community consultation in both the excavation and shaping processes.

Access Note

Some photos are not available in this version of the thesis.

Included in

Playwriting Commons


Paper Location