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2019 GAMAA FINALIST: Newstead House


Newstead House
Museum Theatre: The War Years – Americans at Newstead House

Built in 1846, Newstead House is the oldest standing residence in Brisbane. The War Years: Americans at Newstead brought museum theatre to Newstead House for the first time, using the House as a stage. This engaging theatre piece took audiences on a journey back to Brisbane World War II where, in 1942, over one million U.S. Servicemen are based in Brisbane and Newstead House was commandeered by the American military.

Created and delivered in partnership with Moreton Bay Environmental Education Centre, the production is a walking theatre experience with eight scenes set in a variety of rooms and locations on the Newstead House cultural and heritage precinct. Through music, dance and spoken word, the story of Marelle and Joe unfolds, taking audiences through the House and through their emotional journey. Targeting a teenage audience, it was believed that this “love” story would help students connect with the history.

The War Years: Americans at Newstead House highlights the social conditions of the time and the very real threat of war. It shows the social differences between the Americans and the Australians in simple tangible ways such as food, music, style, language, and introduces the challenges young women faced at the time when wanting to work, and what was or was not socially acceptable.

For the team behind Newstead House, the emotional connection to this story and the theatre performance confirms the belief that Newstead House must be experienced as a cultural and heritage Precinct, coming alive and engaging its audiences.

GAMAA Judge, Robert Ryan, Mackay Regional Council with Jennifer Garcia, Newstead House and Dianne Aylward, Moreton Bay Environmental Education Centre. Newstead House – Finalist of Engagement: Organisations with Paid Staff category. Photograph by Blue Click Photography, courtesy of M&G QLD. Photograph by Blueclick Photography, courtesy of M&G QLD.

Banner image: 2019 GAMAA trophies created by Queensland artist Lucy Quinn. Photo: Andrea Higgins, courtesy of M&G QLD.


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