Players

The Lives and Work of the Actors Who Created the National Theatre of Australia

A University of New England ARC Future Fellowship Project

Associate Professor Anne Pender

John Clarke

John Clarke

Max Cullen

Max Cullen

Julia Blake

Julia Blake

This project explores the transformation of Australian theatre through the lives and work of some 80 actors working in Australia since the 1950s.

The actors have contributed to the development of Australian theatre during a critical phase of Australian cultural history, and moulded the distinctive style of our national theatre. They have created an Australian style of acting that is recognised around the world.  The project examines the contribution of these actors to live performance in Australia, as well as to radio, film and television, focusing on the aesthetic, cultural and economic factors that affected their work.

The project is the first comprehensive study of actors in Australia and is a unique collaborative venture between scholars, actors, actor trainers, theatre companies and cultural organisations.

The actors in this study include Max Cullen, John Clarke, Julia Blake, Elspeth Ballantyne, Henri Szeps, Tony Sheldon, Nick Tate, Garry McDonald, June Salter, Wendy Hughes and many others.

In 2013 Associate Professor Pender was Scholar in Residence at the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra.


Anne Pender is Associate Professor of English and Theatre Studies and Australian Research Council Future Fellow. A Menzies Scholar to Harvard University, Anne taught Australian literature at King's College London in 2002–03 and was Visiting Distinguished Professor of Australian Studies at the University of Copenhagen in 2011–2012.