Past Resident

Charlotte Farrell

I am a writer whose work spans poetry and critical theory. My primary project at the moment is my Ph.D. in Theatre and Performance Studies where I examine Australian theatre director Barrie Kosky’s revisions of classic tragedy. Through his radical reformulations in the 1990s and 2000s, Kosky introduced a new approach to tragedy on the contemporary Australian stage. The thesis examines the ways in which he adapted classic tragedy through detailed engagements with his Australian productions in the years before he permanently moved to Europe in 2012. He reconfigured main stage performance cultures in Australia, marking the emergence of a new genre of theatre that I have named the ‘post-tragic’. Drawing on theories of affect, this thesis argues that Barrie Kosky’s performances contemporise classic tragedy to activate a post-tragic affective politics as a mechanism for social change.

My residency at Arts Letters and Numbers provided me with the time and space to focus on my writing full time. The creative environment fostered unanticipated inspiration and meaningful connections for me. I wrote more in the two weeks at ALN than I have in months. 

Each person I encountered during the residency impacted upon my creative process in myriad ways. A generosity of spirit is palpable in each crevice of the beautiful old house that the ALN collective have lovingly restored.

I was working on redrafting two chapters of my Ph.D. dissertation during my stay. While I was at ALN, we were able to screen an old Jewish film from the 1920s, The Dybbuk, from which his 1993 production drew inspiration. The other residents and members of the wider community were happy to participate and share in my research interests, something that is rare and invaluable to such a solitary, and sometimes lonely, practice. 

With a perfect balance of the social and the solitary, my time at ALN will be treasured, and I hope someday to return.