AusStage after 20 years


NZ – 4.30pm | VIC/NSW/TAS – 2.30pm | SA – 2pm | QLD – 1.30pm | NT – 1pm
WA – 11.30am

AusStage, Australia’s open access database and research resource for performing arts events, is over twenty years old and still growing. Not only are the number of items in AusStage expanding but the methodologies it offers researchers have also developed substantially. This session overviews a range of different methodological approaches on how AusStage continues to enrich research in the performing arts in Australasia (and beyond) for researchers, students, the industry, and the general public. Speakers include Gillian Arrighi, Jonathan Bollen, Sarah Thomasson and Jonathan W Marshall.

Gillian Arrighi was until recently the head of Creative and Performing Arts in the School of Creative Industries, University of Newcastle. She is the author of The FitzGerald Brothers’ Circus: spectacle, identity and nationhood at the Australian circus (Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2015) and co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to the Circus (2021), Entertaining Children: The Participation of Youth in the Entertainment Industry (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), and A World of Popular Entertainments (Cambridge Scholars: 2012). Her many refereed journal articles and book chapters address circus studies, acting theory and performance pedagogy, digital visualisation of historic data, and popular entertainments. Her current book project concerns child actors on trans-national popular stages, 1880-1910. She has been a chief investigator on the AusStage ARC LIEF projects since 2010.

Jonathan Bollen is an Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies in the School of the Arts and Media at UNSW. He is the author of Touring Variety in the Asia Pacific Region, 1946–1975 (Palgrave 2020) and co-author of A Global Doll’s House: Ibsen and Distant Visions (Palgrave 2016) and Men at Play: Masculinities in Australian Theatre since the 1950s (Rodopi 2008). He is a chief investigator on the ARC LIEF for the AusStage database, and leads the Performance Memories partnership between UNSW Library and the Dennis Wolanski Foundation.

Sarah Thomasson is a Lecturer in Theatre and Performance Studies at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington. She writes on contemporary theatre and performance practices with a focus on international arts festivals and their fringes. Her monograph, The Festival Cities of Edinburgh and Adelaide, is under contract with Palgrave Macmillan. She is co-PI of AusStage’s collaboration with Theatre Aotearoa.

Jonathan W. Marshall is an interdisciplinary scholar with a background in history. Marshall has published extensively on the links between the historiography of hysteria, neurology and performance, including a monograph (“Performing Neurology: The Dramaturgy of Dr Jean-Martin Charcot,” 2016) and two recent book chapters (Braun, ed., “Performing Hysteria,” 2020, & “There is a Method to this Madness: Hysteria in Contemporary Art Practices,” 2021). Marshall has written extensively on butoh dance, landscape performance, as well as on Australian First Nation performance and the colonial landscape. Marshall is based at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Edith Cowan University, Perth.