Alana’s radio play The Ravens won the 2014 BBC/British Council International Radio Playwriting Competition in association with Commonwealth Writers and Open University. The Ravens was selected from over 1000 entries from 86 countries and was also nominated for Best Radio play at the 2015 AWGIE Awards.
Alana Valentine has a Graduate Diploma in Museum Studies (with Merit) from the University of Sydney (2000) and an abiding interest in all forms of Australian history. She is one of Australia's most diverse and award-winning writers and two of her main stage works Parramatta Girls and Run Rabbit Run are currently on the HSC Drama syllabus in NSW.
Artists are observant. Artists are trained to look closely at things, and to look beyond what everyone else is noticing. London's Central Saint Martins, the world famous art school which produced such fashion luminaries as Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, offers a short course called Cool Hunters, London. It's designed to teach students how to think like an artist, how to sharpen their powers of observation and see beyond the surface of now to the texture and shape of the future.
But what are the competing demands and pitfalls of becoming a cool hunter? And what role do socks with sandals play? Writer and broadcaster Alana Valentine went to London to find out.
Set in the world of radio astronomy, Ear to the Edge of Time is a drama about team work, scientific attribution, and a reluctant feminist activist. It is based on interviews with many contemporary radio astronomers, from several international radio telescopes. When a poet is commissioned to write about a female radio astronomer, it doesn’t go well. But then the astronomer makes an incredible discovery and the poet is party to a series of attribution incidents which he construes as sexism and writes about, much to the horror of the radio astronomer. She is pitched into this controversy as a very reluctant activist and must play out the drama with surprising dissent among her colleagues.
Winner of the 2012 of the International S.T.A.G.E Award. This prestigious award is given to a play about science or technology and attracted over 200 entries from 19 countries. In 2012 the judges were Pulitzer Prize winning playwrights Tony Kushner, David Lindsay-Abaire and Donald Margulies, and Nobel Laureates Robert C. Richardson, Frank Wilczek and David J. Wineland.
Shafana and Aunt Sarrinah is a contemporary companion for Norm and Ahmed, and is partly a plea for understanding, partly a bellow of rage from Muslim Australian women about the ignorance and misunderstanding that surrounds the wearing of the traditional Muslim headscarf. Based thoroughly on personal interviews and produced with the sustained support of a large number of Muslim women from a diversity of Muslim cultures, the play addresses theatrical and social questions about representation, religious freedom and inter-generational conflict.
Fondly known by the locals and staff alike as 'the Dish', the CSIRO's radio telescope outside the town of Parkes in western New South Wales is regarded as one of the most beautiful telescopes in the world. And even though it's more than 40 years old, constant upgrades have kept it at the forefront of radio astronomy. To celebrate the international Year of Astronomy, writer and documentary maker Alana Valentine travelled to Parkes and spent two weeks living in the observers' quarters at Parkes, alongside men and women from around the world who in their daily lives live and breathe and dream the mysteries at the far reaches of the Universe.
We join Alana as she talks double pulsars with scientists, the nature of space time with theologians and the perils of keeping the whole thing ship-shape with the cleaners. Along the way we meet local school children, farmers, storekeepers and tour operators who share a common affection for a structure that put their town on the scientific map. And we hear, for a moment, the sound of the Universe singing.
Watermark is a chronicle of both the physical, psychological and financial devastation of the flood in the northern territory town of Katherine, Australia on 26 January 1998. Based on written and oral testimony from flood survivors, the play evokes the power and torment of flood damage in a small town the tensions and grief, the friendships and kindnesses, the fears and losses. Uplifting, moving and funny, Watermark is a testament to both the fragility and the endurance of a community in times of hardship.
A man goes to a salon that can style his way of speaking, in the same way as a hair salon styles hair. Streaks of dry humour here, expletive extensions there, and a rather special wash to get rid of all those politically correct words.
• Radio play
• 9 Actors, non gender specific
Commissioned by ABC Audio Art's programme Radio Eye as part of their month-long series on meat.
This is a programme which extends the concept of meat out into the notion of the 'meat of the spirit'. It investigates the meaning that people attach to the taking of the body and blood of a divine being, in this case, the lamb of God in Christ.
The piece combines edited interview excerpts with believers who in some way have been denied communion or have an ambivalent relationship to it because of their sexuality or ethnicity. Parallel to these interview segments is the dramatic journey of two characters, Faith and Doubt. Also in the programme two pastors, a man and a woman consecrate and serve the communion ritual.
• Radio play
• 2 Females
When Lawrence discovers that his mother Gladys is dead, he goes into shock. He refuses to accept it and against the advice of his lover, Marty, takes her corpse in a wheelchair to the football for the big South Sydney/Manly Grand Final.
Screamers juxtaposes emotional trauma with black humour to examine the nature of grief.
• Radio play, 60 minutes
• 2 Males
• 2 Females
This collection of short plays reflect Alana Valentine's expertise in writing compelling theatre for Cultural institutions, Museums and Schools. They are dynamic and dramatic interpretations of significant historical and contemporary subjects which sparkle with humor, poignancy and entertainment! Suitable to be performed by school children, amateurs and professionals alike in a variety of educational or entertainment contexts.
THE PROSPECTORS tells the tale of two miners seeking their luck on the Eureka goldfields in 1854.
THE MAPMAKER'S BROTHER follows Samuel Flinders as he journeys around Australia with his circumnavigating brother Matthew.
RADIO SILENCE goes inside the worried mind of a WWII WAAF as she waits for the return of a Lancaster bomber on a mission over Germany.
MOSES JOSEPH chronicles ten significant moments in the life of a prominent convict Jewish settler.
RATTICUS AND REIDAR are two Norwegian brown rats who take us behind the scenes of life in Sydney's Hyde Park convict barracks.
THE MODEST AUSSIE COZZIE dramatizes the early career of Arab-Australian burquini designer, Aheda Zanetti.
TALES OF GALILEO is three short plays where the Italian genius meets Charles Darwin, lsaac Newton and Caroline Hershel to talk about science that threatens religious doctrine.