Bowerbird: The art of making theatre drawn from life

Alana Valentine BowerbirdFull of insights that you will find yourself quoting in surprising contexts and casual conversations, Bowerbird: The art of making theatre drawn from life is a new book by one of Australia’s most inventive playwrights, Alana Valentine.

Part memoir, part ‘how to’ manual, part inspirational call to the power of creativity and community, Bowerbird is a journey through the life and plays of Valentine, as well as the creative process behind the plays.

From where to start, how to connect, whom to interview and best practice guidelines for working with sensitive subjects, Bowerbird is a generous and surprising tour through the preparation, research and consultation that results in an original and compelling work of theatre.

Entangling Valentine’s personal experience, reflections on collaboration and strategies for creative engagement both inside and outside the arts, Bowerbird shows the power of bringing new audiences into our theatres to share the space with traditional audiences, detailing how to gather and transform lived experience into compelling drama.

“Bowerbird is written with all the humanity, wisdom, humour and generosity that we recognise and love in Alana Valentine’s work. This is much more than a guide for aspiring writers: this is a book for anyone who loves theatre, its power and its people.” – Neil Armfield AO

Alana Valentine is a multi-award winning playwright and songwriter. Her many plays include Ladies Day, Parramatta Girls, Run Rabbit Run, Head Full of Love, Letters to Lindy and Barbara and the Camp Dogs (co-written with Ursula Yovich). Valentine is again working with Bangarra Dance Theatre as dramaturg on Dark Emu, after her successful collaborations on Bennelong, Patyegarang and ID.

In 2018 Belvoir will present The Sugar House, Sport For Jove will present Ear to the Edge of Time and Merrigong Theatre Company will tour Letters to Lindy nationally. Valentine is currently the co-recipient of a writing fellowship at the Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney.

Bowerbird: The art of making theatre drawn from life is published by Currency Press and is available from all leading book retailers including Booktopia.

Image: Bowerbird: The art of making theatre drawn from life – courtesy of Currency Press