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Local playwright Caulfield awarded Newcastle uni’s Creative in Residence

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Respected local professional playwright, director, dramaturg and teacher Carl Caulfield is set to relish his new role.

The award-winning artist has been awarded the University of Newcastle’s (UoN) Creative in Residence.

He’ll write and research his work at the Auchmuty Library over the next six months, culminating in a “live” onsite performance in late 2024.

Dr Caulfield boasts an impressive record of playwrighting, having won the City of Newcastle Drama Award (CONDA) for Best New Play five times for Indecent Obsessions (2002), Human Resources (2006), Shakespeare’s Fools (2010), Dali: Hallucinogenic Toreador (2020) and The Fine Art of Deception (2022).

He’s also delivered 28 full stage productions, including Being Sellers, Seems Like Old Times, Dante’s Dream, The Anatomy of Buzz, Where Late the Songbird and Hecuba Reimagined.

His play for young people, The Mystery Of Roger Mullaney, was published by Macmillan in 2004 for use in the drama curriculum in secondary schools.

Meanwhile, his one-man show about British Goon, Peter Sellers, Being Sellers, made its debut by Stray Dogs in 1998 at the Playhouse in Newcastle with Jonathan Biggins directing.

It was performed the same year at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and then in London at the Man in the Moon Theatre, Kings Road, London.

Being Sellers was later reprised at the Waterloo East Theatre in London with David Boyle as Sellers and then went on to the 59E59 Theatre in New York.

In 2020, mid-pandemic, Stray Dogs reprised it commemorate the 40th anniversary of the death of Peter Sellers to appreciative masked audiences.

Dr Caulfield has a Doctorate of Creative Arts from the University of Technology Sydney and, after teaching Drama at the University of NSW as a sessional academic, he became a full-time lecturer in Drama at the University of Newcastle where he both taught and wrote plays for students to perform.

He’s taught screenwriting at tertiary level including at AFTRS (the Australian Film, TV and Radio School) and Screen Studies at NIDA (the National Institute of Dramatic Art).

As well, he’s been a guest of Eugene O’Neill Theater Institute Playwright’s Conference (2008) and the Kennedy Center American Theatre College Festival (2009).

In 2011, he spent a year in the UK, teaching scriptwriting at Edge Hill University.

His screenplay, The German Soldier, reached the quarter-finals of the Blue Cat competition in New York in 2015.

During his residency at the UoN’s Auchmuty Library, Dr Caulfield will work on a dramatic performance piece on the life and work of Josef Lycett (1774-1828).

He was a convict and artist known for his topographical views of major Australian towns and dramatic landscapes.

With opportunity for drama, passion and insight into what Newcastle was like in 1814, Dr Caulfield will use archives and rare books housed in the library’s Special Collections to explore the colonial context of Lycett’s life.

These include examples of his prints, engravings and records.

Dr Caulfield will also consult with The Wollotuka Institute to gain insight into the relationships and trust Lycett formed with local Indigenous communities.

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