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Williams, Paula (Australian playwright, short story writer, screen writer, 1926-____), “Conversation,”

a 7-minute satirical sketch set at a pavement coffee table in a touristy, new age resort, Australia,


; © 2001 by Paula Williams; • in Paula Williams' Conversation (Bangalow, Byron Shire, New South Wales, Australia: The Author, 2001); • script/rights available from Paula Williams via e-mail miathara@linknet.com.au. • Cited by Paula Williams via e-mail July, 2003.

§ Dramatis Personae Adamson (m), 55, employer; Bob (m), 35, underling.

§ Synopsis Adamson is is sitting at a pavement table, reading an independent, well-known regional newspaper with coloured masthead and photos. Bob, his underling, joins him with their two coffees. Their conversation reveals that Adamson is concerned that this particular region is listening too much to non-conservative attitudes, particularly when he discovers a particular spiritual guru with a huge following is again visiting the area with her ideas of questioning, thinking for oneself and self-empowerment. Adamson sees this as a threat to control in society and instructs Bob, who is becoming seduced with what he sees, hears and reads, to get on with the job of discrediting this guru figurehead by the usual tactics.

§ Comment This play is a tilt at power structures, whatever they may be, and their need to control. • Premiered at the 2002 season of Short & Sweet plays at Newtown Theatre, Sydney, Australia. • Paula Williams, 78 year old playwright, began her association with the stage with Sydney University Dramatic Society (SUDS) in1948-49, running around backstage with a string of safety pins, and delivering her one Shakespearean line with all the aplomb of a terrified mouse. She married in New Guinea highlands an engineer; they have two children. Subsequently they lived in Sydney many times, Hong Kong, and the Gove Peninsula, Northern Territory, Australia, until they 'dropped out' to become elderly self-sufficiency dudes on a run-down property on a mountainside near Nimbin, site of the Aquarius Festival. Has moved all her life, before during and after marriage. Likes change, hates cities, has been a questioner all her life. Began writing plays at he age of 61, after leaving her 37-year-old marriage. She and her husband are now good mates. Her plays sketches and monologues have been performed many times. In 2002, two one acts were published; another was shortlisted in an International One Act Play Competition in Malibu, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. She writes gentle plays about relationships, with insight and humour. Once a member of ANPC (Australian National Playwrights Centre), Sydney's Griffin Theatre, and Brisbane's Playlab (Playwrights Laboratory) and FAW (Fellowship of Australian Writers). Now confines her membership to Playworks (National body based in Sydney) and helping run Bangalow Writers' Group (mixed genres) and the script/workshop arm of Baywrite Theatre, Inc. (Byron Bay) Has always done volunteer work wherever she's lived. Does tai chi, aerobics and aqua-robics, and maintains a difficult, terraced vegetable garden.”

§ Themes control, independence, manipulation.

See also Paula Williams'

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