Representations of Antarctica


Person walking on the ice

The following bibliography documents published plays; published 'drama in verse form'; and plays performed but not yet published. Performances are listed under the play's title, and published plays are listed under the author's name, according to the MLA citation system.

[    A to E |    F to L |   M to Q |    R to Z ]

A to E

Adebayo, Mojisola. "Moj of the Antarctic: An African Odyssey." Hidden Gems: Six New Plays by Black British Playwrights. Ed. Deirdre Osborne. London: Oberon Books, 2008.

An Air Balloon across Antarctica. Martin, Darrah. Dir. Yvonne Virsik. Perf. Claire Glenn, Paul David-Goddard, and Sophie Lampel. Three To A Room. Trades Hall, Carlton South, 2007.
[A minor celebrity undertakes a solo balloon flight across Antarctica; she tries to escape personal tragedy in the snow and ice.]

Andrews, J.W. "Antarctica: A Narrative of the Bubble Nothing." Triptych for the Atomic Age. Boston: Branden Press, 1970.

Antarctica. Carolyn Raship. Fevvers Productions. The New School for Drama Theatre, New York, 2007.
[The play has since been performed by Glass Mind Theatre, Baltimore, 2010.]

Antarctica. Crank Collective. Dir. John Cecil. Perf. Carl Guthrie, Alexandra Russo, and Rob Faubion. City Theatre, Austin, 2012.
[Rock musical tribute to Ernest Shackleton. Performed Feb 3 – 11, 2012.]

Antarctica. Little Bulb Theatre Company. Bristol Old Vic Theatre. Bristol, 24 Nov 2013–4 Jan 2014. Performance..
[Forthcoming children's theatre production.]

Australis; or, The City of Zero. By J.C. Williamson. Music by Bernard Espinasse. Perf. Her Majesty's Theatre, Sydney, 1900. Sydney: John Andrew & Co. 1900.

Brenton, Howard. "Scott Of The Antarctic: Or, What God Didn't See." Plays for Public Places: Gum & Goo, Wesley, Scott of the Antarctic. London: Eyre Methuen, 1972.

The Call of Aurora. By Joe Bugden. Dir. Joe Bugden. Peacock Theatre, Hobart. 12–20 Dec 2013. Performance.
[Opera based upon Mawson's 1911-1914 expedition. Performance available to view on YouTube.]

Cold Comfort. Karen Sherman. PS122, New York, 2004. Performance/dance.

[Subtitled, "A Love Letter to Antarctica," the program describes it as "A fantasia on ice, isolation, desire, and penguin envy. What do you long for in the only place on earth no one owns and no one is from?"  View more information.]

Cornelius, Patricia. "Do Not Go Gentle…" Do Not Go Gentle [and] The Berry Man. Strawberry Hills, NSW: Currency Plays, 2012.
[First performed by fortyfivedownstairs theatre company in August 2010.]

Endurance. By Louise Smith. Dir. Emmanuelle Chaulet. Perf. Andy's Summer Playhouse, Wilton Center, New Hampshire. 2–6 Aug. 2000.
[This play was written for, and performed by, actors ranging from 9 to 15 years of age.]

F to L

A Father for My Son. By Jenny Coverack and Robert Edwards. Perf. Jenny Coverack at Royal Geographical Society headquarters at 1 Kensington Gore, London. 13 June 2001.
[Adapted from Louisa Young's biography of Scott, and Scott's autobiography and diaries, this production premiered in Cotohele, Cornall in October 2000 and was performed in various locations around Britain in 2001, 2002 and 2003. It was alsostaged on the M/V Yubov Orlova during a trip to South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsulain January 2003. The June 13 performance was staged in support of the Royal Geographical Society's New Initiatives Programme.]

Goering, Reinhard. Die Sudpolexpedition des Kapitans Scott: Spiel in drei Teilen. Berlin: Im Propylaen- Verlag, 1929. Play.
[This play was also adapted as an opera, Das Opfer, in 1937, featuring a singing, dancing penguin chorus, and music composed by twelve-tone composer Winfried Zillig. See Hanne Nielsen and Elizabeth Leane's article on this play published in New Theatre Quarterly.]

Great Scott! By David Burke. Composed by David Jensen. Perf. Great Hall, Parliament House, Canberra, 27 Oct. 1997; King's College School, Cambridge, 17 Nov. 2001.

Griffiths, Trevor. Judgement Over the Dead: The Screenplay of The Last Place on Earth. London: Verso, 1986.
[This is the screenplay of The Last Place on Earth, a dramatisation of the race between Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen to be the first to the pole. Dir. Ferdinand Fairfax. Perf. Stephen Moore, Sverre Anker Ousdal, Martin Shaw, Max Von Syndow, and Susan Woolridge. 7 episodes. Central Television and WBGH, Boston, 1985.]

Hoar, Stuart. Scott of the Antarctic. Wellington; Playmarket, 1987.
[This short radio play has also been performed on stage.]

Ice Island: The Wait for Shackleton. By Marjorie Duffield. Dir. Lori Steinberg. Perf. Melting Pot Theatre New York City, 14 Nov.–19 Dec. 1999.

In Antarctica, Where It Is Very Warm. Tarlin, Jona. Dir. Kerry Kastin. Blowout Theatre Company, New York, 2013. Rehearsed reading..
[See more at Blowout Theatre.]

Karge, Manfred. Conquest of the South Pole. Trans. Tinch Minter and Anthony Vivis. London: Methuen, 1988.

Kathleen's Antarctic. Written/dir. Richard Huber. Research/concept creator Bronwyn Judge. Perf. Fortune Theatre, Dunedin. 8–16 March 2002.

Kushner, Tony. Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes. Part One: Millennium Approaches. New York: Theatre Communications Group, 1993.
[In Part II, a valium-addicted housewife hallucinates an Antarctic idyll, and in Act V the continent 'appears' as one of the Continental Principalities.]

The Last March. Tinder Theatre Group. New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth. Jan 2013.
[Children's theatre production.]

The Last South: Pursuit of the Pole. Calhoun, G. M. Dir. Rob Mulholland. Perf. Jamie Lee, and Adrian Lukis. The Pleasance, Edinburgh. 1–27 Aug 2007. Performance..
[Followed by 2008 UK Tour with actors David Burt and Christian Olliver. For more information]

M to Q

Meet the Real Ernest Shackleton: A Comedy About Antarctica. Michael Christian. Dir. Michael Christian. Chor. Ron Schwinn. Music Terry Radigan. Perf. Keith Chandler, Arol Jahns, and Kristen Vermilyea. Sande Shurin Theatre, New York City, 9–26 Sept. 2004. 

Moore, Jason Kendall. Passion for the Antarctic: a short play. Dir Maria Angelica Luzzi. Perf. Daniela Meneses, and Jason Kendall Moore. Center for Hemispheric and Polar Studies, Chile. 17 July 2010. Short play.
[Third scene of Tangled destinies; production funded by the Center "to generate interest in U.S.–Chilean relations in the Antarctic and elsewhere.."]

The Mythmakers. Rose MacLennan Craig, and Richard White. Dir. Kenneth Michaels. Perf. Steve Hay, and Jonathon Hansler. Charing Cross Theatre, London, 18–25 Mar, 2012.
[This production by Celtic Circle Theatre Group had its beginnings in a performance in California, several years earlier. This version went on to be performed as part of the New York International Fringe Festival in 2013 under the direction of Sarah Berger.]

Nabakov, Vladimir. "The Pole (Polyus)". The Man from the USSR and Other Plays. 1924. Trans. Dmitri Nabokov. San Diego, New York, London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1984: 267–83.
[Also published in The Wide White Page: Writers Imagine Antarctica. Ed. Bill Manhire. Wellington: Victoria UP, 2004: 156–166.]

Play Antarctica. Vear, Craig. Dir. Tony Graham. Perf. Tim Kane, Sean Myatt, and Craig Vear. Unicorn Theatre, London, 2006.
[Children's theatre production.]

R to Z

Shackleton Out-Shacked. Perf. Concert Chamber, Town Hall, Wellington, New Zealand. 17 July 1909. [This work, "A Classic Sketch in Three Convulsions", was Act II of a concert in aid of the Unemployed Relief Fund.]

South Polar Expedition. Perf. Royal Victoria Theatre, Hobart, Australia. 3 May 1841.
[This theatrical extravaganza was reviewed in the Hobart Town Advertiser, 7 May 1841. Accounts of the play can be found in: Savour, Ann. "Hobart and the Polar Regions, 1830-1930." Tasmanian Insights: Essays in Honour of Geoffrey Thomas Stilwell. Hobart: State Library of Tasmania, 1992. 175–9; Fleming, Fergus. Barrow's Boys London: Granta, 1998. 350–51; and Woodward, F. Portrait of Jane: A Life of Lady Franklin. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1995. 230.]

Stewart, Douglas. The Fire on the Snow. The Fire on the Snow and The Golden Lover: Two Plays for Radio. Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1944. 4–42.
[First performed by the Australian Broadcasting Commission on 6 June 1941. Prod. Frank D. Clewlow.]

Sur. Written and directed by Ronald Weihs, based on the short story by Ursula K. Le Guin. Perf. Artword Theatre, Toronto, 27 Nov–14 Dec 2003.

Tally, Ted. Terra Nova: A Play. New York: Nelson Doubleday, 1981.

Ticket of Leave. Adapted version of a Victorian farce entitled A Ticket-of-Leave, by Watts Phillips [Clyde, Ohio: Ames & Holgate, c. 1862]. Perf. Gilbert Scott, Frank Wild, and Horace Buckridge. The Royal Terror Theatre, Ross Island, Antarctica. 25 June 1902. [Believed to be the first play performed in Antarctica. see: Leane, Elizabeth. "Antarctic Theatricals: The Frozen Farce of Scott's First Expedition." Theatre Notebook 57.3 (2003): 143–57; and Pearson, Michael. "'No Joke in Petticoats': British Polar Expeditions and their Theatrical Presentations." The Drama Review48.1 (T181): (2004): 44–59.]

Tom Crean -- Antarctic Explorer. By Aidan Dooley. Perf. Aidan Dooley at New York International Fringe Festival, August 2003.

Tom Crean: Sailor on Ice. Hirzel, David. Perf. David MacIver. Imagination Lane, 2010. Audio drama.
[The first two of ten online audio dramas about Tom Crean's voyages aboard Discovery, Terra Nova, and Endurance. Listen at Tom Crean: Sailor On Ice.]

Young, David. Inexpressible Island. Winnipeg: J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing, 2000.
[First performed in Toronto, Canada, in 1997. The play was performed in the UK in 2001 under the title "Antarctica". First published by Scirocco Drama in 1998.]