Questions for George
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Susan Davis
What lies at the heart of our creative and research journeys? Are we always seeking to understand something about ourselves no matter what the subject? What makes writing and the creative journey worthwhile? Is it acknowledgement in our own lifetime or a belief in leaving some form of literary legacy? This script ponders such questions as the researcher explores, in creative form, her journey to answer questions about the life of one of Queensland’s early playwrights, George Landen Dann. He came to prominence in 1931 when he won the Brisbane Repertory Theatre playwriting competition with the play In Beauty it is Finished. Dann later became one of Australia’s leading playwrights. Critics, publishers and directors (Brisbane, 1977; McCallum, 2009, Rees, 1973; Rowbotham, 1962) have long argued that Dann’s work deserves greater recognition. This script examines events from the time of a 1930s scandal, making links to events from his final years and the significance of the work of an Honours student who wrote her thesis about him. The researcher’s own questioning frames the investigation, creating a Readers Theatre style of documentary script drawing on evidence from interviews, newspaper clippings, letters and other documents in the Fryer Library collection at the University of Queensland.