In early December I started to write a post about being a playwright in South Australia. Caleb Lewis, Kit Brookman, Tahli Corin, Duncan Graham, Finegan Kruckemeyer, and now Phillip Kavanagh are people who immediately spring to mind as having left this state in recent years (or weeks, as it may be). I stopped writing mainly because I thought the answer to my question was just “no”, and left it there.
But today on the National Play Festival website, in an interview with Sydney raised, SA based playwright Nicki Bloom, a similar question came up:
Adelaide is a great cultural producer, what is it like working in a city that is outside of the traditional cultural hubs of Sydney and Melbourne?
These days (back to that postmodern, globalised society you spoke of) where you live has less of an impact on where you work. Sure, there’s still plenty of state-based parochialism, but I’ve worked as much in Sydney as I have in Adelaide, and have as broad networks in cities around the world as I do in Adelaide. I think that’s the same for most playwrights these days.
So, should the question be: can you be a playwright in Adelaide as long as you’re working elsewhere? I believe Bloom’s Land & Sea is the only text-based theatre work by a South Australian playwright presented by a fully funded company in SA in 2012. I don’t think this statistic would prove to be unusual.