• Entry type: Organisation
  • Entry ID: PR00094

Women’s Theatre Group

(From 1975 – 1989)

Summary

The Women’s Theatre Group was active in Adelaide from 1975 to 1989. The group wrote, produced, directed, scored, performed and built the stage for their productions. They performed cabaret and theatrical works. All-women productions were a first in Adelaide. The women worked through a collective. They won the Adelaide Festival Centre best production award for ‘Redheads Revenge’ in 1978.

Other productions included ‘Christobel in Paris’ 1975, ‘Caroline Chisel Show’ 1976, International Women’s Day Concert and ‘Chores 1’ in 1977, ‘Chores 2’ and ‘I want I want’ 1979, ‘Out of the Frying Pan’ 1980,’ Onward to Glory’ 1982, ‘Margin to Mainstream’ and ‘Women and Work Women and Paid Work’ 1984, ‘Sybils Xmas Concert ‘1985, and 1989 ‘Is this Seat Taken?’, this last show explored relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous women. The group included the Women in Education Theatre Group and the Feminist Theatre Group.

Details

During International Women’s Year (1975) a grant was awarded for a women’s cabaret called ‘Christobel in Paris’. The women formed a collective to produce, write, perform, manage, and build stages for their own plays and revues. In December 1976 the ‘Caroline Chisel Show’ written by Jenny Pausacker with musical direction and arrangement by Janet Seidel was performed. The following year they performed at the International Women’s Day Concert and produced ‘Chores’ which later became ‘Chores 1’.

In 1978 Jenny Pausacker and Janet Seidel teamed up again for ‘Redheads Revenge’. This was performed at the Space theatre Adelaide Festival Centre and the play won the best production award from the Centre for 1978. ‘Redheads Revenge’ was based on the conventions of melodrama and its cast included Fran and Pat Kelly, Helen Bock, Minnie Applemy along with many others. ‘Redheads Revenge’ turned a profit and the collective created the Feminist Theatre Fund for future productions. In 1979 these productions included ‘Chores 2’ and ‘I want I want’.

In November 1980 ‘Out of the Frying Pan’ collectively written by Jacki Cook, Jenny Pausacker, Miranda and Pat Roe, Sue Higgins [Sheridan], Andi Sebastian, Anne Dunn, Lindy Sharne and Judy Szekeres. The ‘Lonely Motherhood Show’ was produced in 1981. In 1982 Anne Dunn directed ‘Into the 30’s’. Women’s Education Theatre Group mounted a production in 1982 of ‘Onward To Glory’ at the Royality Theatre. Jenny Pausacker and Anne Dunn wrote ‘Margin to Mainstream’, performed in 1984. ‘Women and Work Women and Paid work’ and ‘Sybil’s Xmas Concert’ were performed in 1985.

The final production in 1989 was ‘Is this seat taken?’, written by Jenny Pausacker and other collective members. This last show explored relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous women. Many of the performances were videoed and or audio taped including post production meetings.

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Published resources

Archival resources

  • State Library of South Australia
    • Women's Theatre Group
    • Adelaide Women's Liberation Movement Archives Collection

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