Kate Flaherty, Ours As We Play It: Australia Plays Shakespeare (UWA Publishing, 2011).
Ours As We Play It is the first monograph to draw together a wealth of primary resources from theatre archives and rehearsal rooms, including images, reviews, and interviews with practitioners, to begin to compose a picture of Shakespeare’s plays as they are performed in the Australian context.
The purpose of this book is to challenge the common assumption that Shakespeare’s works operate in a simply distilled way as either a colonising or an edifying force in Australian culture, and to provide teachers and students with a resource to begin to remedy this misconception and to draw upon the rich heritage of Australian Shakespeare as part of their approach to studying and performing his plays.
By closely examining Shakespeare’s plays as they’ve never been studied before – performed by Australian theatre companies in contemporary Australia – the author, Kate Flaherty, argues that Shakespeare’s plays cannot help but resonate with local concerns.
Flaherty analyses several contemporary Australian productions of three Shakespeare plays; exploring masculinity and madness in Hamlet, the role of landscape and the multiple roles of Rosalind in As You Like It, and hierarchies of gender and social order re-imagined in relation to Australian understandings of power in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
This significant book will be of particular interest to both national and international students and teachers of drama studies and the arts, theatrical groups and organisations, as well as educational institutions and arts policy-makers.