America and the Australian performing group
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The development of a distinctively Australian theater is commonly traced to two companies that began in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Australian Performing Group (APG) in Melbourne and the Nimrod in Sydney. The work of both companies is remembered for its determined populism, physicality, and transgressive vulgarity. While these qualities were not necessarily new to Australian theater, the Nimrod and the APG allied them to a theatrical nationalism that won acceptance at the time and has influenced interpretations of their work since then. Populism, physicality, and vulgarity became the hallmarks of what was read at the time and has continued to be read as a characteristically Australian performance style. Both companies were also crucial in attempting to reverse a cultural cringe that led Australian theater companies to be suspicious of local products and to imitate or import the foreign. The Nimrod and the APG developed a cluster of influential writers whose subjects and style were drawn from Australia and who won acceptance for indigenous theater.
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