A temporary moment of feminization : theatre work/ers in 1920s' Brisbane

Mercer, Leah (Leah Gwenyth) (1998). A temporary moment of feminization : theatre work/ers in 1920s' Brisbane M.A. Thesis, School of English, Media Studies and Art History, The University of Queensland.

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Author Mercer, Leah (Leah Gwenyth)
Thesis Title A temporary moment of feminization : theatre work/ers in 1920s' Brisbane
School, Centre or Institute School of English, Media Studies and Art History
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1998
Thesis type M.A. Thesis
Supervisor -
Total pages 121
Language eng
Subjects 210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
190404 Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies
Formatted abstract This thesis argues that the period from 1920 to 1930 represents a 'feminized' moment in Brisbane's theatre history. Using a feminist methodology, the rise of cinematic technologies and the decline of theatre as a 'popular' medium are placed in context against the rise of the female producer/actor, the rising recognition of the female audience as a market and the corresponding growth of a 'Woman's' theatrical repertoire/genre. Four female theatre workers who were based in or passed through Brisbane during this decade are examined in detail. Although the range of performance models covered is not meant to be exhaustive, these four women were chosen to represent a broad spectrum of female theatre work.

This thesis is divided into three chapters. Chapter One revisits the works of seven feminist theorists as a means of identifying and establishing a number of stages that are common to their work. This process leads to a 'provisional' working feminist methodology, not one that should be applied to all Australian theatre history, but a theory which represents one way of re-considering the historical period and positioning the four case studies. Chapter Two considers the state of the theatre and film industry and places theatre in Brisbane within an historical and national framework. This chapter is a comparative study of the theatres in which they performed, the way in which they were marketed and the means they used to attract audiences. It also charts the fluctuating admission prices to theatres, variety venues and cinemas. Chapter Three is a detailed analysis of the four case studies: Barbara Sisley, Dorothea Spinney, Nellie Bramley and Frediswyde Hunter-Watts and concludes by examining how the discourses employed in discussing these disparate case studies tie them together and to the concept of a temporary moment of 'feminization'.
Keyword Theater -- Queensland -- Brisbane -- History
Women in the theater -- Queensland
Feminism and theater -- Queensland
Additional Notes Quality of document has been been affected as it was scanned from a photocopied edition of the thesis. Binding has also obscured text on some pages. The author has given permission for this thesis to be made open access.

 
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