AN University of New England drama graduate has received an ‘standing ovation’ after being honoured for her work in the theatre industry.
Suzie Hardgrave was centre stage with her win of the Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies Philip Parsons Prize for 2016.
Ms Hardgrave said she was thrilled with the award which she won for her Master of Applied Theatre Studies performance-led research project Elizabeth Taylor is my Mother.
“It’s been one of the best moments in my life,” Ms Hardgrave said.
“For my masters, which I did through the University of New England under the guidance and expertise of Dr Julie Shearer, I created a solo show.
“I spent two years in my Masters analysing my own self and identity in relation to ‘what acting is?’
“I did this by writing an autobiographical work which I then translated into a semi-autobiographic work for the play.
“It was a research project to explore the authenticity in acting.”
Ms Hardgrave’s performance Elizabeth Taylor is my Mother tells the story of a woman incarcerated for murder reflecting on her life.
The actress, writer and director praised the University of New England for providing an incredibly supportive framework during her studies.
“Studying online, with something like that was a real challenge but because of the UNE staff, it was excellent,” Ms Hardgrave said.
“Dr Julie Shearer was an incredible supervisor who literally was a rock as she provided me with wonderful safety and guidance.”
Ms Hardgrav is a creative-practice researcher who is exploring character in the style of psychological realism with the methodologies of Michael Chekhov and Konstantin Stanislavski.
“I am currently writing another show and plan to continue on in my research investigations,” Ms Hardgrave said.
“My next step forward is to complete my Doctor of Philosophy as well I am lecturing and sharing the knowledge that I discovered in my masters.”
From 1997, Ms Hardgrave’s performances have appeared across the globe including ABC Radio, BBC, North Edinburgh Arts Centre and Citadel Arts, Melbourne Theatre Company and La Mama Courthouse.
The award was established in 1977 to commemorate the late Dr Philip Parsons’ lifelong interest in making connections between theatre scholarship and the professional stage.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.