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An Alternative Actor's Collective

Video clip synopsis – Actors talk about the Pram Factory collective and its processes. At communal meetings it helped to be tall, articulate and male.
Year of production - 1994
Duration - 1min 43sec
Tags - actors, collectives, creativity, culture, feminism, theatre, see all tags


An Alternative Actor's Collective

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About the Video Clip


An Alternative Actors Collective is an excerpt from the film Pram Factory (55 mins), produced in 1994.

Pram Factory: In the early 1970s Melbourne was home to the Australian Performing Group, a theatre collective which quickly became a focal point for the intellectual, artistic and political life of the turbulent times. They were based in a building called the Pram Factory, now synonymous with the people and events that laid the groundwork for a renaissance in Australian culture.

Pram Factory is a Film Australia National Interest Program. Developed with the assistance of the Australian Film Commission.

Curriculum Focus


Reading standard: Students read, view, analyse, critique, reflect on and discuss contemporary and classical imaginative texts that explore personal, social, cultural and political issues of significance in their own lives. They will also read, view, analyse and discuss a wide range of informative and persuasive texts and identify the multiple purposes for which texts are created.

Writing standard: Students write sustained and cohesive narratives that experiment with different techniques and show attention to chronology, characterization, consistent point of view and development of resolution.

They write persuasive texts dealing with complex ideas and issues and control the linguistic structures and features that support the presentation of different perspectives on complex themes and issues.

Speaking and listening standard: Students, when engaged in discussion compare ideas, build on others’ ideas, provide and justify other points of view, and reach conclusions that take into account aspects of an issue.

They draw on a range of strategies to listen to and present spoken texts, including note-taking, combining spoken and visual texts, and presenting complex issues or information imaginatively to interest an audience.

The activities in this learning module are relevant to the Interdisciplinary Learning strand of Level 6 Communications (Listening, viewing and responding standard; Presenting standard) and Thinking Processes (Reasoning, processing and inquiry standard; Creativity standard).

The activities are also relevant to the Physical, Personal and Social Learning strand of Level 6 Interpersonal Development (Building social relationships standard; Working in teams standard) and Personal Learning (The individual learner standard; Managing personal learning standard).

This material is an extract. Teachers and Students should consult the Victoria Curriculum and Assessment Authority website for more information.

Background Information


The Australian Performing Group was a democratic theatrical collective operating out of a former pram factory.

Its prodigious output of original work, produced amid the sex, drugs and rock 'n’ roll of Carlton in the 1970s, revived and inspired Australian theatre.

The collective created a theatre in opposition to the script-based, director-dominated conservative norm. It was up-close, non-naturalistic and centred on the presence and skill of the performer. The shows were raw, rough, political, experimental, comical and musical.

Much has been written about the contribution of the playwrights (Jack Hibberd, John Romeril, Barrie Oakley, David Williamson) to this cultural effusion. Less has been remembered about the performers. Max Gillies, Jane Clifton, Greig Pickhaver (H. G. Nelson), Evelyn Krape, Jack Charles, Sue Ingleton, Peter Cummins, Red Symons, John Duigan, Graeme Blundell, Bruce Spence and Jenny Kemp were among the many influential actors, musicians and directors who developed their talents at the Pram Factory.

The Pram Factory closed in 1980, having been a significant part of a rejuvenation of theatre in Australia.

Classroom Activities

  1. Based on the knowledge gained from the video clip , write a definition of the term, ‘collective’ and include an example.
    1. Describe Sue Ingleton’s point of view about male domination.
    2. Describe Bob Daley’s point of view about who has power in a collective.
    3. Discuss both Sue Ingleton’s and Bob Daley’s point of view and list the charactistics you find relevant. Add other characteristics that you think might help people gain power in collectives.
    1. In small groups create a 2-minute dramatic and exaggerated script about an acting collective of 4–6 people discussing the creation of the set for a well-known fairytale their collective will perform. Make sure each character is different and that your script has a strong message.
    2. Present it to your class.