Associate Professor David Watt

Conjoint Associate Professor

School of Creative Arts (Drama)

Career Summary

Biography

My recent publication record is a result of a change in research direction, exemplified by my establishment of the Performance, Community Development and Social Change research group, and my involvement in developing the universitys new Arts/Health Research Centre.

I have been negotiating a shift from the conventional methodologies of my 1990s research to an embrace of the practice-as-research methodologies emergent internationally in my discipline, and to attempts to adapt them to CCD practice. I have thus spent my time establishing a context, and investigating and testing methodologies, for practice-as-research, which led to the development, with no administrative assistance, of the research group (4 academic staff, 5 international associates, 7 postgrads), the negotiation of cross-disciplinary and industry partnerships for projects, and to reporting on this work-in-progress via conference papers in international forums. This work is now bearing fruit and has produced 4 long-term projects: *The Royal on the Move, with colleagues from Fine Art, an industry partnership with the Hunter New England Area Health Service, and a collaboration with Livesites, a local council-initiated arts organisation. This entailed involvement in a year-long CCD process meetings to devise and implement a processional performance for March 2006.

A joint publication (See Schaefer & Watt ) has been accepted and will appear in 2007 *The Birabahn/Threlkeld Project, with support from the NSW Arts Ministry and in partnership with Lake Macquarie City Council, the Hunter Writers Centre, the Arwarbarkurl Cultural Resource Association and the university's Umillico Aboriginal Studies Research Centre. This has entailed four years of planning and involvement in a year-long CCD process leading to a public performance last November. Publications arising are being drafted, and a further stage is planned. *Maitland Gaol/People's Histories, in partnership with Maitland City Council. This project centres on the work of a postgrad, under my supervision. I initiated and negotiated the set-up of the project, and assisted the postgrad to, firstly, complete an Honours thesis, and secondly, to begin publishing on it (he delivered a paper on it at the International Federation for Theatre Research conference in 2005). This has involved four years of meetings and focus group sessions. *The Windale Project: "2306 in Our Own Words", in partnership with the Hunter Writers' Centre. This is a cross-disciplinary practice-based research project (Drama and Human Geography) investigating the usefulness of CCD in developing a sense of community in a public housing estate, for which we have applied for an ARC Discovery grant for 2008-10.

Research Expertise
I have published consistently, particularly on community-based performance, in which I an international reputation, and most notably in a book, Workers' Playtime (co-authored with Alan Filewood from the University of Guelph in Canada), which explores labour movement theatre since 1970 in Australia, Canada and the UK. My international reputation has facilitated the establishment of connections with colleagues both in Australia and overseas, and occasionally to collaborations on projects – for example, the Chief Investigator for Newcastle on AusStage, an ARC-funded collaboration between 18 Australian universities to establish and maintain a web-based database of live performance in Australia since white settlement, and my collaboration with Prof Filewod has extended into a project on the documentary theatre work of British theatre maker Peter Cheeseman. My most recent research has resulted from a developing interest in questions of place and performance beyond the conventionally theatrical, and in the role of the generation of performance in community contexts in investigating questions of history, heritage and popular memory, and the ways in which these processes may assist in consolidating senses of local identity. Most of these have been practice-as-research projects and have thus led to artistic research outcomes (like the production of the interactive, site-specific performance piece Ngarrama in 2007 or the Royal on the Move procession which ceremonially marked the closure of the Royal Newcastle Hospital in 2006) as well as conventional academic publication. They have also involved cross-disciplinary collaborations with academic colleagues in Cultural Geography, Aboriginal Studies and Fine Art at the university, and collaborations with local government and arts organizations, artists and Community Cultural Development workers, made possible by my involvement with local grassroots cultural groups as well as my research.

Teaching Expertise
I have supervised at Honours, MA and PhD level, predominantly in the area of theatre for community development and popular theatre in Australia, Indonesia and the West Indies, and has also supervised a range of practice-as-research projects within the now discontinued Master of Creative Arts degree.


Qualifications

  • PhD, University of New South Wales
  • Bachelor of Arts, Monash University

Keywords

  • Brecht and political theatre in the 1920s and 1930s
  • Documentary and site-specific performance
  • Medieval theatre
  • Popular Theatre
  • Theatre for community development and social change

Fields of Research

CodeDescriptionPercentage
190499Performing Arts and Creative Writing not elsewhere classified100

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/01/2009 - 1/07/2009Associate ProfessorUniversity of Newcastle
School of Drama Fine Art and Music
Australia

Academic appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/01/1991 - 1/01/2007Senior Lecturer
Drama
University of Newcastle
School of Drama, Fine Art and Music
Australia
1/01/1977 - 1/01/1991Lecturer
Drama
University of Newcastle
School of Drama, Fine Art and Music
Australia

Membership

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
Member - Australasian Drama Studies AssociationAustralasian Drama Studies Association
Australia
Member - IFTRInternational Federation for Theatre Research
Australia

Invitations

Participant

YearTitle / Rationale
2005'Get Real' Conference, ,Sydney
Description: Chair, panel on 'Political Theatre'
2003Theatre of Protest
Organisation: Sydney Theatre Company
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Book (1 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2001Watt DM, Filewood A, Workers' Playtime: theatre and the labour movement since 1970, Currency Press, Sydney (2001) [A1]

Chapter (4 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2011Arrighi G, Watt DM, '(Re) Constructing the archive: A regional perspective on performance histories', Scrapbooks, Snapshots and Memorabilia: Hidden Archives of Performance, Peter Lang, Bern, Switzerland 67-82 (2011) [B1]
Co-authorsGillian Arrighi
2009Watt DM, 'Local knowledges, memories and community: From oral history to performance', Political Performances: Theory and Practice, Rodopi, Amsterdam 189-214 (2009) [B1]
2007Filewod A, Watt DM, 'Melbourne Workers Theatre: The meat in the sandwich', Class Act: Melbourne Workers Theatre 1987-2007, Vulgar Press, Melbourne, Victoria 30-58 (2007) [B1]
2006Schaefer KV, Watt DM, 'Nobbys, Newcastle. Place, History, Heritage, Identity and Performance', Unstable Ground: Performance and the Politics of Place, Peter Lang, Bern 125-148 (2006) [B1]
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Journal article (8 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2007Schaefer KV, Watt DM, 'Not going quietly: The Royal on the Move Procession. Place, history, memory and community-based performance', About Performance, 117-131 (2007) [C1]
2007Watt DM, 'A Boal companion: Dialogues on theatre and cultural politics', Modern Drama, 50 98-102 (2007) [C3]
2007Watt DM, 'Terry Lane The Full Round: the Several Lives and Theatrical Legacy of Stephen Joseph', New Theatre Quarterly, 23 430-431 (2007) [C3]
2005Watt DM, 'Peter J. Wilson and Geoffrey Milne, 'The Space Between Us: The Art of Puppetry and Visual Theatre in Australia'', Australasian Drama Studies, 47 162-164 (2005) [C3]
2003Watt DM, ''The Maker and the Tool': Charles Parker, Documentary Performance, and the Search for a Popular Culture', New Theatre Quarterly, 19 41-66 (2003) [C1]
DOI10.1017/S0266464X02000052
2002Watt DM, 'Review of 'Performing Democracy: International Perspectives on Urban Community-Based Performance' ed. by Susan C Haedicke and Tobin Nellhaus', Australasian Journal Studies, 41 153-155 (2002) [C3]
2001Pitts G, Watt DM, 'The Imaginary Conference', Artwork, Issue 50 7-14 (2001) [C1]
1998Watt DM, 'Review of Maria DiCenzo, The Politics of Alternative Theatre in Britain', Essays in Theatre, 16 233-235 (1998) [C3]
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Review (1 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2000Watt DM, 'J. Colleran & J. Spencer (eds.) Staging Resistance and R. Boon and J Plastow (eds.) Theatre Matters', Australasian Drama Studies (2000) [D1]

Conference (7 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2009Watt DM, 'Arts ... health: Mind the gap', The 2nd ArtsHealth Conference Proceedings, Newcastle, NSW (2009) [E3]
2008Watt DM, Arrighi G, 'Performance and theatre in a regional centre', AusStage Symposium 2008. Program, Adelaide, SA (2008) [E3]
Co-authorsGillian Arrighi
2007Watt DM, Mee KJ, Joyce B, Edwards E, 'Performing Windale(s): Performance-based community cultural development techniques enacting/enabling possible futures in public housing estates', International Symposium on Applied Theatre: Engagement and Transformation 2007. Abstracts, Sydney (2007) [E3]
2006Watt D, 'Local Knowledges, Memories and Community: from Oral History to Performance Via Community Cultural Development', International Federation for Theatre Research, Finland (2006) [E3]
2005Watt D, 'Citizens, Artists and the Sociality of Cultural Production in Community-Based Theatre', Citizens, Artists and the Sociality of Cultural Production in Community-Based Theatre, University of Maryland (2005) [E3]
2004Filewood A, Watt D, 'Counter-Globalisation: The Banner/Ground Zero Collaborations', University of Reading (2004) [E3]
2001Filewod A, Watt D, 'From Class to Cultural Community: Theatre and Labour in Australia', International Federation for Theatre Research conference, Sydney (2001) [E3]
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Creative Work (1 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
1998Watt DM, What's Left: Songs and Performance from the Great Depression, Department of Drama, The University of Newcastle, Drama Studio, The University of Newcastle (1998) [J2]
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants25
Total funding$193,908

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20141 grants / $12,000

AusStage, Phase 5: Australian live performance and the world – global networks, national culture, aesthetic transmission$12,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamProfessor Julian Meyrick, Dr Jonathan Bollen, Professor Julie Holledge, Professor John Roddick, Professor Joanne Tompkins, Professor Veronica Kelly, Dr Glenn D'Cruz, Associate Professor Maryrose Casey, Associate Professor Helena Grehan, Doctor Gillian Arrighi, Associate Professor David Watt, Dr Bree Hadley, Dr Sandra Gattenhof, Dr Margaret Hamilton, Dr Meg Mumford, Dr Bryoni Trezise, Professor Rachel Fensham, Associate Professor Denise Varney, Associate Professor Peter Eckersall, Professor Peta Tait, Dr Delyse Ryan, Ms Antonietta Morgillo, Professor Frode Helland, Mr Richard Stone, Mr Robert Brookman
SchemeEquipment Grant
RoleInvestigator
Funding Start2014
Funding Finish2014
GNoG1300499
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

20131 grants / $20,000

AusStage, Phase 5: researching Australian live performance - global markets, national culture, aesthetic transmission and living archives$20,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamProfessor Julie Holledge, Bollen, Jonathan, McGillivray, glen, Kiernander, Adrian, Carlin, David, D'Cruz, Glenn, Hassall, Nanette, Erskine, Shona, Tait, Peta, Milne, Geoffrey, Casey, Maryrose, Grehan, Helena, Hadley, Bree, Gattenhof, Sandra, Varney, Genise, Doctor Gillian Arrighi, Associate Professor David Watt, Mumford, Meg, Trezise, Bryoni, Tompkins, Joanne, Kelly, Veronica, Trenos, Helen, Hamilton, Margaret, Ryan, Delyse, Stephenson, Peter, O'Sullivan, Sandy, Morgan, Allan, Morgillo, Antonietta, Stone, Richard, Lush, shelley
SchemeEquipment Grant
RoleInvestigator
Funding Start2013
Funding Finish2013
GNoG1200135
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

20101 grants / $24,000

AusStage Phase 4: Harnessing collective intelligence and pioneering new visual methodologies for innovative research into Australian live performance$24,000

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Funding bodyARC (Australian Research Council)
Project TeamProfessor Julie Holledge, Doctor Gillian Arrighi, Associate Professor David Watt
SchemeLinkage Infrastructure Equipment & Facilities (LIEF)
RoleLead
Funding Start2010
Funding Finish2010
GNoG1000483
Type Of FundingScheme excluded from IGS
CategoryEXCL
UONY

20081 grants / $20,000

Performing Windale(s): performance-based Community Cultural Development techniques enacting/enabling possible futures in public housing estates$20,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamAssociate Professor David Watt, Doctor Kathleen Mee, Associate Professor Jenny Cameron
SchemeNear Miss Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2008
Funding Finish2008
GNoG0188401
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

20072 grants / $15,735

AusStage: Gateway to Australian live performance, phase 3-enhancing collaborative research methodologies through digital networking technologies.$15,400

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Funding bodyARC (Australian Research Council)
Project TeamAssociate Professor David Watt
SchemeLinkage Infrastructure Equipment & Facilities (LIEF)
RoleLead
Funding Start2007
Funding Finish2007
GNoG0187393
Type Of FundingScheme excluded from IGS
CategoryEXCL
UONY

International Symposium on Applied Theatre: Engagement and Transformation, University of Sydney, 11/10/2007 - 12/10/2007$335

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamAssociate Professor David Watt
SchemeTravel Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2007
Funding Finish2007
GNoG0188298
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

20063 grants / $26,000

The Birabahn/Threkheld Project: Place, History, Memory and Performance in the Development of Sustainable Cultural Identities and Communities in Lake Macquarie$15,000

Funding body: Lake Macquarie City Council

Funding bodyLake Macquarie City Council
Project TeamAssociate Professor David Watt, Mrs Deidre Heitmeyer, Dr Kerrie Schaefer
SchemeUniversity Grant Partner funding
RoleLead
Funding Start2006
Funding Finish2006
GNoG0186787
Type Of FundingOther Public Sector - Local
Category2OPL
UONY

The Birabahn/Threlkeld project: place, history, memory and performance in the development of sustainable cultural identities and communities in Lake Macquarie$10,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamAssociate Professor David Watt, Professor John Maynard
SchemeCollaborative Research Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2006
Funding Finish2006
GNoG0186115
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

International Federation for Theatre Research, 7-12 August 2006$1,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamAssociate Professor David Watt
SchemeTravel Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2006
Funding Finish2006
GNoG0186650
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

20054 grants / $37,469

Moving the Royal - Framing the Memories$20,000

Funding body: Hunter New England Area Health Service

Funding bodyHunter New England Area Health Service
Project TeamDoctor Miranda Lawry, Conjoint Professor Anne Graham, Associate Professor David Watt
SchemeUniversity Grant Partner funding
RoleInvestigator
Funding Start2005
Funding Finish2005
GNoG0185423
Type Of FundingNot Known
CategoryUNKN
UONY

Moving the Royal - Framing the Memories$10,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamDoctor Miranda Lawry, Conjoint Professor Anne Graham, Associate Professor David Watt
SchemeCollaborative Research Grant
RoleInvestigator
Funding Start2005
Funding Finish2005
GNoG0185422
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

Visit of Prof Bruce McConachie, 15 June to 27 July 2005$5,069

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamAssociate Professor David Watt
SchemeVisitor Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2005
Funding Finish2005
GNoG0184283
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

Citizen Artists: Theatre, Culture adn Community: International Federation for Theatre Research Annual Conference, 26 June - 2 July 2005, USA$2,400

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamAssociate Professor David Watt
SchemeTravel Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2005
Funding Finish2005
GNoG0185187
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

20042 grants / $7,280

Maitland Gaol/Peoples Histories: An investigation of performance as a technique for enlivening heritage sites with multivocal histories$5,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamAssociate Professor David Watt, Dr Kerrie Schaefer
SchemeProject Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2004
Funding Finish2004
GNoG0183533
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

Political Futures: Alternative Theatre in Britain Today, 16-18 April 2004, England$2,280

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamAssociate Professor David Watt
SchemeTravel Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2004
Funding Finish2004
GNoG0183885
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

20032 grants / $13,500

An Investigation of performance as a technique for enlivening heritage sites with multivocal histories: the case of Maitland Gaol$7,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamAssociate Professor David Watt
SchemeProject Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2003
Funding Finish2003
GNoG0182367
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

AusStage: Austaralian Performing Arts Gateway phase two. Enhancement and information retrieval$6,000

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Funding bodyARC (Australian Research Council)
Project TeamAssociate Professor David Watt
SchemeLinkage Infrastructure Equipment & Facilities (LIEF)
RoleLead
Funding Start2003
Funding Finish2003
GNoG0183567
Type Of FundingScheme excluded from IGS
CategoryEXCL
UONY

20011 grants / $4,153

Visit of Prof Barrie Kershaw from 8 July 2001 to 1 September 2001$4,153

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamAssociate Professor David Watt
SchemeVisitor Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2001
Funding Finish2001
GNoG0180735
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

20001 grants / $5,500

An Empirical Study of the Use of Theatre as a Tool for Community Development Amongst Factory Workers in Indonesia.$5,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamAssociate Professor David Watt, Ms Rebecca Conroy, Associate Professor Phillip O'Neill, Doctor Tim Connor, Conal McKenna
SchemeProject Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2000
Funding Finish2000
GNoG0178839
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

19961 grants / $2,500

Alternative and community theatre documentation project: theatre produced in conjunction with the trade union movement 1985 to the present$2,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamAssociate Professor David Watt
SchemeProject Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start1996
Funding Finish1996
GNoG0175707
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

19951 grants / $227

Fourth Australasian Theatre Training Conference, Queensland, 7-10 June 1995$227

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamAssociate Professor David Watt
SchemeTravel Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start1995
Funding Finish1995
GNoG0176809
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

19941 grants / $454

Third National Conference on Theatre Training (Annual Conference) Victoria College of the Arts, 20-22 October 1994$454

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamAssociate Professor David Watt
SchemeTravel Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start1994
Funding Finish1994
GNoG0175191
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

19932 grants / $2,590

Alternative and Community Theatre Documentation Project$2,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamAssociate Professor David Watt
SchemeProject Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start1993
Funding Finish1993
GNoG0172819
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

'Australasian Drama Studies Assoc. Int. Conf: Theatre & Social Change', Univ. of West. Aust, 29 Nov - 4 Dec 1993$590

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamAssociate Professor David Watt
SchemeTravel Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start1993
Funding Finish1993
GNoG0174430
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

19921 grants / $2,500

Alternative & Community Theatre Documentation Project$2,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamAssociate Professor David Watt
SchemeProject Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start1992
Funding Finish1992
GNoG0174240
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY
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Research Supervision

Current Supervision

CommencedResearch Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2008Legacy in Applied Theatre
Drama & Theatre Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts
Principal Supervisor
2007A case study of the Raymond Terrace Community Residents' Group Community Cultural Development project, 'Creating the Spirit' project
Drama & Theatre Studies, University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
2007A practice-as-research investigation of the theory and practice as acting
Drama & Theatre Studies, University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
2005Political theatre in Chile
Drama & Theatre Studies, University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
2003Maitland Gaol/People's Histories
Drama & Theatre Studies, University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
2002Gender, Race and the Ideologies of Elizabethan England in Shakespeare's 'Antony and Cleopatra' and 'Macbeth'
Drama & Theatre Studies, University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor

Past Supervision

YearResearch Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2015Re-Politicising Cultural Democracy - Not Social Policy
Fine Arts, Faculty of Education and Arts
Sole Supervisor
2011Randai as a Contemporary Dramaturgy: Obstacles and Insights from an Intercultural Transposition
Drama & Theatre Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts
Principal Supervisor
2009Recovering the `Radical in Performance' Conscientização as a Model for Theatre-Making Amongst Event-Specific Popular Audiences CYCLE Productions' Bathurst 1000 Festival Project
Drama & Theatre Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts
Sole Supervisor
2007Catscans / Dogma: Creating New Music -Theatre
Drama & Theatre Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts
Sole Supervisor
2007Performing Resistance: Oppositional Performance Practices in Contemporary Indonesia
Drama & Theatre Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts
Sole Supervisor
2004The Neutral Mask: its position in Western actor training, and its application to the creative processes of the actor
Drama & Theatre Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts
Sole Supervisor
2002"Aid Travels with a Bomb": Sistren, Third World politics and the Seductiveness of Development Agency Funding
Drama & Theatre Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts
Principal Supervisor
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Associate Professor David Watt

Position

Conjoint Associate Professor
School of Creative Arts
Faculty of Education and Arts

Focus area

Drama

Contact Details

Emaildavid.watt@newcastle.edu.au
Phone(02) 4921 5003

Office

RoomSRR204
BuildingSocial Sciences
LocationCallaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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