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The thing that is so disappointing about our culture is the perpetual amnesia, the lack of acknowledgement of things that have occurred. Our achievements aren’t cherished, aren’t built from.
- Lindy Davies,
Theatre Notes, 2006
The Australian Performing Group, or APG, helped to bring about a profound change in Australian theatre and nurtured the talents of a generation of writers and performers who have become household names including Max Gillies, David Williamson, Graeme Blundell, Jack Hibberd, Sue Ingleton and Greig Pickhaver (aka H G Nelson). Yet to date the only published full-length accounts of the group have been written by former members.
Make it Australian gives an outsider’s view of this influential group and the social, political and cultural context in which it operated. Through its observation of the personalities, conflicts and ideologies embedded in the APG, it challenges myths, reveals paradoxes and investigates divergences between the professed aims of its members and what the group did.
Make it Australian is the first critical history of APG and the book traces the group’s development from its beginnings at La Mama Theatre in 1968 through its flowering at the Pram Factory and to its demise in 1981. It draws on interviews with key members, reviews of productions and an analysis of significant plays.
A beautifully researched snapshot of a unique and formative—heroic, almost—moment in Australian culture. ... In the sizzling pages of this now-essential book lie the seeds of pretty much everything on the Australian cultural agenda for the next century or so.
Currency Press | 978-0-86819-816-3 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Gabrielle Wolf graduated from Arts Law at Melbourne University and has a PhD, also from Melbourne. Her doctoral thesis,
Staging Marvellous Melbourne: Theatre and the Nation from the Federation Era to the New Wave, examined productions of Australian plays in Melbourne from the 1890s to the 1970s. She has tutored, lectured and worked as a research assistant for academics and was a member of the editorial collective for the Melbourne Historical Journal. She also presented a regular book review segment on 3RRR radio station and has published articles in the Australian Literary Review, the Journal of Australian Studies, the Melbourne Historical Journal, the Australian Journal of Family Law, Stage Whispers: Performing Arts Magazine and Inpress.
Make it Australian! is her first book.