Australian Drama collections at Fryer

The Hanger collection

Eunice Hanger (1911-1972) began to collect playscripts in 1958 to teach the history of Australian theatre at UQ. Important contributions were also made by Alrene Sykes (1928-1990) and Professor Robert Jordan. It is now one of the largest and most diverse collections of playscripts in Australia.

The Hanger collection contains over 3000 manuscripts, which includes Australian plays, radio dramas, and serials. Authors include: Max Afford, Mona Brand, George Landen Dann, and Oriel Gray. Many are working typescripts, which include rehearsal notes and emendations. 

Eunice Hanger

Fryer theatre program files

An ephemera collection, the Fryer theatre program files document events held at Queensland theatres through flyers and programs. The collection includes iconic Brisbane venues, such as Festival Hall and the Regent Theatre.

Fryer also holds some examples of early silk theatre programs.

This example from 1884 was printed on cream silk in crimson ink, with an embroidered floral silk border and edged with a silk fringe and tassles.

Silk Theatre program from Albert Hall, 1884. From collection F3691

Australian theatre collections

As we discovered in our infographic, Australian theatre accounts for approximately 11% of Fryer manuscript collections. Collections range from the papers of playwrights to the records of Brisbane theatre companies. You can browse a list of our major theatre collections on our website.

A popular collection is the papers of Max and Thea Afford, which records Max's career as a stage and radio dramatist and Thea's career as a costume designer. The collection contains many of her beautifully illustrated designs.

Costume design by Thea Afford.


Last updated:
4 January 2017