New Vintage: A collection of historical Australian plays


Developed by Playlab, New Vintage is a digital collection of Australian plays that stretches back over one hundred and fifty years of Australian drama to the mid nineteenth century. The collection speaks not only of our artistic past, but also our changing society over that time as each of the plays is a small slice of history that informs us of ideas, events and moral perspectives that have helped shape us.

With New Vintage, Playlab has endeavoured to create an easily accessible resource of important Australian plays that have fallen out of print, become hard to find and/or are only accessible at a few locations. It is hoped that this will facilitate a greater interest in the development of the Australian theatrical voice and enable the wider teaching, research/study and even performance of these works. In practical terms this aspiration is supported by offering New Vintage titles at an affordable rate of just $9.95 each.

Playlab has taken the opportunity to launch New Vintage with a diverse range of plays that collectively represent a significant body of our cultural memory. An important part of this is the inclusion of four George Landen Dann's plays; three for the first time. George Landen Dann holds an undervalued place in Australian playwriting and we are proud to include him here among a number of his contemporaries. His plays are joined by those of Arthur Adams, Marcus Clarke, Henrietta Drake-Brockman, Louis Esson and Steele Rudd to name but a few.

A key to developing this collection has been the formation of an editorial/curatorial panel who have contributed strongly to the selection of the works and provided introductions that contextualise the them for the reader. The panel consisted of Dr Stephen Carleton, Dr Susan Davis, Prof. Richard Fotheringham and Prof. Veronica Kelly.