Playwright and dramatist Alana Valentine shares her approach to telling the stories of individuals and communities across her works including Parramatta Girls, Letters to Lindy and My Beautiful Man, and for the State Library of NSW exhibition Send for Nellie.
You can listen to this conversation using the audio player above or subscribe to the podcast for free via iTunes or Spotify or Stitcher (or search for “Wide Open Air Exchange” on your preferred podcast platform).
A good portion of this conversation is about Alana’s engagement with the story of Nellie Small — a popular vaudevillian style entertainer in Sydney nightclubs in the 1930s. As a budding playwright in 1991, Alana had researched Nellie Small and written a play about her which was ultimately never produced. Recently Alana experienced a kind of full circle moment of being invited to curate an exhibition about Nellie Small for the State Library of NSW. Send for Nellie is a State Library event that’s part of the ongoing Pride (R)evolution exhibitions which have been taking a “queer lens” to the State Library’s collection.
You can read Alana’s article for the State Library about Nellie Small linked here,
A version of this conversation was first broadcast on the radio by 2SER 107.3FM.
Feature photo by Stephanie Zingsheim and supplied by Alana Valentine for use by the Wide Open Air Exchange.
The Wide Open Air Exchange theme music is derived from ‘Tuesday Morning’ by The Pogues written by Spider Stacy.