Diane Stubbings

Genesis: the evolution of a genetics play.

The thesis investigates the relationship between knowledge and imagination through the writing of a play about genetics. Through an analysis of key performance texts, the thesis evaluates the relationship between form and content in the science play with a view to determining ways in which the science of genetics might be employed in my own practice. Concurrently, consideration is given to the ways in which biologists utilise language and imagery, and how that language and imagery might be appropriated dramaturgically. An historical survey of key paradigm shifts in the biological sciences is undertaken in order to evaluate correlative and/or causal connections between shifts in scientific knowledge and shifts in literary and dramatic form. Further, using genetic criticism, links between knowledge, imagination and creativity are probed. This methodology is supplemented by the use of phenomenology to theorise the evolution of my own practice over the course of the research.

Key terms: science, writing, genetics, evolution, dramaturgy.


Researcher Bio

Diane Stubbings is a writer and reviewer. Her first play The Parricide had it premiere at La Mama in 2014. Her work has also received staged readings in Sydney (The Parricide; These are the Things) and Melbourne (The Parricide; Darkwater). Other plays include: The Possibility of Zero, Void, The Annotations and Willowdene. Diane’s work has been four times shortlisted for the Rodney Seaborn Playwrights’ Award and three times longlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award. She is the recipient of an RE Ross Trust Development Award, and a Grace Marion Wilson Fellowship. Her plays have also been shortlisted for the Griffin Award, and the Internationalists’ Global Playwriting Competition, and longlisted for the Theatre 503 (UK) Playwriting Award. Diane’s fiction reviews have appeared in The Australian, The Canberra Times and the Sydney Review of Books, and she has contributed essays to Sydney Theatre Company programs.


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ORCID number:  0000-0002-8770-6115