28 August 2012

One of the country’s most distinguished playwrights is visiting The University of Queensland to collaborate with students and showcase some of her acclaimed work.

Award-winning playwright Noëlle Janaczewska recently arrived from Sydney to conduct a writing masterclass and a free public performance, Loose Gravel – a poetics, which will take place at UQ’s Geoffrey Rush Drama Studio on Thursday, August 30.

The visit is one of three Ms Janaczewska will make to Brisbane over the next 18 months, which is an initiative organised by Arts Queensland’s Creative Partnerships – a relationship between Arts Queensland, UQ, Griffith University and the Queensland University of Technology.

During her visits, Ms Janaczewska will be working with students from the School of English, Media Studies and Art History on a play, tentatively titled, Scratchland.

Ms Janaczewska’s work has been performed, broadcast and published throughout Australia and overseas, and she has won a number of awards including five AWGIE Awards, the Griffin Playwriting Award and the 2006 Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Mrs Petrov’s Shoe.

Head of the School of English, Media Studies and Art History Professor Joanne Tompkins said it was a privilege to have a playwright of Ms Janaczewska’s calibre at the University.

“Noëlle’s theatre is always very provocative in terms of content and form,” she said.

“It’s really important for students to engage and learn from industry professionals like Noëlle. This enables them to understand how a working playwright operates and in particular, how a script transforms over time.

“I hope this visit means that we will see more of her plays in Queensland.”

Ms Janaczewska is known for experimenting with genre to create pieces that are thoughtful and challenging.

She said she was looking forward to collaborating with UQ staff and students, and also begin working on Scratchland.

“I haven’t worked here before, so this initiative gives me the opportunity to build a relationship, particularly with UQ, but also with other Brisbane universities and theatre companies.

“I think that too often in Australia we take a narrowly state-focused view and I’ve often wished for more exchange between states. Many arts projects and programs are relatively short term and this one takes a much longer-term approach.”

Loose Gravel — a poetics is about gravel and its kin, and about ripping stuff out of the ground, and the language that moves in to fill up the gap. It’s a funny, philosophical performance essay about uncertainty as a defining feature of contemporary life.

Ms Janaczewska’s Masterclass took place on Thursday, August 23 and was attended by UQ postgraduate and undergraduate students, and industry professionals. Ms Janaczewska discussed how she worked with form and genre to create her performances.

Ms Janaczewska will return to UQ in Semester One and Semester Two next year.

Event details

Loose Gravel – a poetics
A Performance Essay

Where: University of Queensland Geoffrey Rush Drama Studio
When: Thursday, August 30
Time: 4pm
Free event. No bookings necessary. Open to the public.

Media: Caroline Bird (UQ Communications) 07 3365 1931 or c.bird1@uq.edu.au