Dr Stephen Carleton

Senior Lecturer

School of Communication and Arts
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
+61 7 334 68739


Stephen is a Brisbane-based playwright and academic. His plays have been produced across Australia and won awards including the Griffin Theatre Award (2014) for The Turquoise Elephant, and the Patrick White Playwrights’ Award (2005) and New Dramatists’ Award (2006) for Constance Drinkwater and the Final Days of Somerset. That play and others including The Narcissist (2007), Bastard Territory (2014) and Hotel Beche de Mer (2014) have been shortlisted for a range of awards including the Patrick White Playwrights’ Award, the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award, Queensland Literary Awards (Drama) and an AWGIE.

His main area of theatre research at present is in Gothic drama, where he has published on the Australian Gothic and is currently extending this area of interest into Ireland, the UK, the USA, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand. He has a background in Postcolonial drama, Australian Drama, Spatial Inquiry, and Cultural Geography. He also is co-creator of the Cultural Atlas of Australia with his colleagues Ass. Prof. Jane Stadler and Dr Peta Mitchell.

Research Interests

  • Gothic drama
  • Spaces in theatre

Research Impacts

Stephen Carleton received a 2010 ARC Discovery Grant with colleagues Jane Stadler and Peta Mitchell to undertake research towards producing a Cultural Atlas of Australia which will mediate spaces in theatre , film and literature. It is an interdisciplinary research project that investigates the cultural and historical significance of location and landscape in Australian cinema, plays and novels.

He is also conducting research into contemporary Gothic drama around the world. An Early Career Resarch Grant allowed him to conduct study into the Irish Gothic, and he will pursue case studies in Canada and the USA in 2014. His PhD thesis, entitled "Imagining and Performing an Australian Deep North", employed Spatial Inquiry and strands of contemporary cultural studies and theatre theory to explore the ways in which the Australian North has been constructed in theatre history from 1900 to the present day. Forthcoming theatre productions include: ‘Bastard Territory’ in Darwin and Cairns (shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award and a Patrick White Playwrights’ Award), ‘Madame Carandini and her Travelling Musical Curiosity Show’ in Brisbane, and ‘Hotel Beche de Mer’ with Gold Coast Arts Centre.


  • Master Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • BA (Hons) Humanities - English/Drama, La Trobe University


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Book Chapter

  • Fotheringham, Richard and Carleton, Stephen (2013). "White Australia" in 1909: the background to the play and the two surviving scripts. In Richard Fotheringham (Ed.), White Australia or, the empty North (pp. 6-16) Brisbane, Australia: Playlab Press.

  • Carleton, Stephen (2013). Foreword. In Men Without Wives by Henrietta Drake-Brockman (pp. 5-8) Brisbane, QLD, Australia: Playlab Press.

  • Carleton, Stephen (2013). Foreword. In Bag O' Marbles by Kathryn Ash (pp. 5-7) Brisbane, QLD, Australia: Playlab Press.

  • Carleton, Stephen (2013). Foreword. In The Drovers by Louis Esson (pp. 5-7) Brisbane, QLD, Australia: Playlab Press.

  • Carleton, Stephen (2013). Rethinking regional theatre. In Richard Fotheringham and James Smith (Ed.), Catching Australian theatre in the 2000s (pp. 151-170) Amsterdam, Netherlands: Rodopi.

  • Carleton, Stephen (2011). The gatecrasher. In I Will Kiss You in Four Places (pp. 11-32) Brisbane, QLD, Australia: Playlab Press.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Master Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Master Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Master Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision