NEON TALKS: What is 'Australian' Theatre Now?

26 July 2014

Event Passed

How, in our globalised world, is a piece of theatre defined – by the origin of its makers, where it was made, content, or place of premiere? Are we restricted creatively by a preoccupation with a dated idea of ‘Australian’ content? Are contemporary Australian artists even concerned with their identity?

Join us in the Lawler for intimate, robust discussions tackling some of the questions faced by Australian storytellers and their audiences.

Daniel Schlusser – Director
Patricia Cornelius – Playwright
Nakkiah Lui – Writer
Sam Strong – Associate Artistic Director, MTC
Lyn Wallis – Director, Theatre, Australia Council for the Arts

Daniel Schlusser

Daniel Schlusser

Daniel Schlusser is a director, dramaturge, performer and writer. He has directed over 40 productions for the stage, including works for major festivals, numerous premiere productions by both Australian and international writers, as well as classics from the Russian and European canon. Recently with The Daniel Schlusser Ensemble, he has created M+M (Theatre Works/Melbourne Festival), Menagerie (Melbourne Theatre Company Neon Festival), Ophelia doesn’t live here anymore (Chamber Made Opera/Bell Shakespeare’s Minds Eye), The Dollhouse (fortyfivedownstairs), _ Life is a Dream_ (The Store Room) and Poet #7 (Full Tilt at Arts Centre, Melbourne). Schlusser received the prestigious George Fairfax Memorial Fellowship in 2012.


Patricia Cornelius

Patricia Cornelius is a founding member of Melbourne Workers Theatre. She’s a playwright, novelist, film writer and dramaturge. She’s a recipient of a Fellowship from the Theatre Board of the Australia Council and the 2012 Patrick White Fellowship. She has also been awarded the 2014 Victorian Premier’s drama award, 2011 Victorian and NSW Premier’s literary awards, 2006 Patrick White Playwright’s award, 2009 Richard Wherrett Prize, 2003 Wal Cherry Award, The Jill Blewitt Award and the R.E Ross Trust Award. Her plays have earned her 10 Awgies for stage, community, theatre for young people, and feature film adaptation. She has written over 25 plays. Her most recent works are: Big Heart, Savages, Do not go gentle…, Slut, Love and The Call.

Patricia has worked in collaboration with many theatre companies including young people’s theatres and has a commitment to the development of the text through work shopping with actors, directors and other theatre makers.

She had taught writing for performance for 8 years at Swinburne Arts.

She has been on the Literature Board of the Australia Council for the last 2 years.

She was a long term member of the Board of Melbourne Workers Theatre.

She has been mentor and dramaturg to many playwrights including Melissa Bubnic (Shedding) and Tony Briggs (The Sapphires).

Plays: Big Heart, Taxi, Savages, The Berry Man, Slut, The Call, Good, Do not go gentle…, Boy Overboard, Cunning, Love, Fever, Who’s Afraid of the Working Class?, Platform, Hogs Hairs and Leeches Little City, Lilly and May Jack’s Daughters, Max, Dusting Our Knees, The Aftermath, Last Drinks, Taxi, No Fear, Opa- a Sexual Odyssey, Home of a Stranger, Somewhere Else, Witch, On the Brink, You Still Here, The Flying Emu
Film: Blessed
Novel: My Sister Jill-

Nakkiah Lui

Nakkiah Lui


Sam Strong

Artwork for Lyn Wallis

Lyn Wallis

Lyn Wallis is Director of Theatre for the Australia Council for the Arts. She has worked as a director, producer, programmer, performer and teacher for over 25 years. Lyn was Downstairs Theatre Director for Belvoir (Company B) for almost a decade – she devised the B Sharp model, and subsequently curated and produced nine seasons of independent works for the B Sharp season. Prior to joining the Australia Council, Lyn was an independent programming and venue operations consultant, and in 2008, programmed Casula Powerhouse’s inaugural performing arts season, facilitating the operations and opening of its new 328-seat theatre. In previous years she created shows and performed for regional companies such as Theatre South, New England Theatre Company and Self- Raising Theatre and worked as a professional vocalist for several years on the variety circuit. Lyn was Artistic Director of Jigsaw Theatre Company for 4 years, during which time she wrote and directed shows for young people for the National Festival of Australian Theatre and the Canberra Festival. Whilst in Canberra, she was awarded a Canberra Critics Circle Award for her mentoring work with emerging artists in the ACT. In 2005 she wrote In Good Company – a manual for producing independent theatre, which was published by Currency Press.