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Eleanor & Alice  

Eleanor & Alice $20.90 ex GST
$22.99 inc GST

Eleanor Roosevelt’s epic flight across Japanese patrolled sea to Australia in 1943 during WWII stands out as heroic. Evading Winston Churchill’s visit to the USA for his meetings with her husband, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eleanor confesses to Mary Alice Evatt—wife of Doc Herbert Evatt, Minister of External Affairs during WWII—that she is dreading the official receptions in Australia. Artist Mary Alice tries to dissuade Eleanor from flying to the battlefront as she solicits Eleanor’s assistance to guarantee Roosevelt’s war support to Australia.

In Paris in 1948, Mary Alice visits Picasso and Australian artist Moya Dyring, Eleanor chairs the committee developing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the United Nations, and Doc Evatt works hard as the first elected President of the General Assembly. Eleanor and Doc Evatt need to meet together but he is avoiding her.

At the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Eleanor & Mary Alice implicitly reveals what these women contributed to political events as it highlights Mary Alice’s importance to Australian modern art and the arts as a human right (Article 27). The Evatts and the Roosevelts had shared values including an understanding that the arts can advance freedom, equality and social justice.

Cast : 2F, 1 musician

Currency Press | 978-1-76062-253-4 | Sales rights: worldwide, except Aust/NZ | PB


PETA TAIT’s Eleanor & Mary Alice about Eleanor Roosevelt’s meeting with Mary Alice Evatt was first staged in 2014. Mesmerized, co-written with Matra Robertson about Charcot and his patient, the hysteric Augustine, was staged in Brazil between 2010 and 2012 with an arts-funded Portuguese translation, Retrato de Augustine ( Portrait of Augustine). Other plays in the 2000s include: Deception River, produced in the 2008 Manawatu One-Act Playwriting Competition, and readings of Hope Pass, Jade Creek and S_old. A graduate of the NIDA Playwrights’ Studio, Tait had five short and full-length works staged during the 1980s, and worked as dramatist with the Sydney-based, The Party Line during the 1990s on Australia Council-funded performances, Appearing in Pieces 1993, and Whet Flesh 1998, and on the award-winning 700 Positions 1996. Breath by Breath, co-written with Matra Robertson about asylum seekers, received a 2003 Green Room Award Nomination for best production. She is a Professor of Theatre and Drama at La Trobe University and a widely published author of books and articles, and she was elected to the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 2013.