Raskin, Scott

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Raskin, Scott

PERSONAL:

Male.

ADDRESSES:

Agent—Cameron Creswell Agency, 61 Marlboro St., 7th Fl., Locked Bag 848, Surry Hills, New South Wales 2010, Australia. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer for projects such as Hurt, [email protected], and the Glen Nicholas Show. Big hART (arts and social policy consulting firm), cofounder and creative director; has also worked as a director, producer, actor, and comedian; advisor and consultant to Australian government agencies on arts-related issues and community cultural development. Has also worked as a comedian. Board member, Arts Tasmania, 2006—.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Commonwealth Heads of Government Violence Prevention awards, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, and 2001, and Awards for Excellence; Human Rights Award in the arts, 1999; Australian Film Institute Award, 2000, for Hurt; Premier's Literary Award for drama (New South Wales and Queensland, Australia), 2000, for Box the Pony; Ros Bower Award for excellence and innovation in the practice of Community Cultural Development, Australia Council, 2002; Green Room Awards for best innovative production, best director, and best female lead, 2003, all for Beasty Girl; Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal (with Cambodia Clasp; Australia), and Australia Council Fellowship, both 2004.

WRITINGS:

PLAYS

Three Men Walk into a Bar, produced in Australia at the Canberra Theatre Courtyard Studio, 1996.

(With Trevor Jamieson) The Career Highlights of the Mamu, produced in Australia at the Black Swan, 2001.

(With Glynn Nicholas) Leaves Falling at Midnight, produced in Australia at the ACHE, 2001.

(With Leah Purcell) Box the Pony (produced in Sydney, Australia, 2003), Hodder Headline (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1999, student edition, 1999.

Beasty Girl, produced in Australia at the MPP, 2003, produced in Australia at the Perth International Arts Festival as Beasty Grrrl, 2003.

Riverland, produced in Adelaide, Australia, at the Adelaide Festival, 2004.

Also author, with Glenn Nicholas, of Kissing Frogs (musical), What the World Needs Now, and Certified Male.

SIDELIGHTS:

Australian playwright Scott Raskin is also a director, producer, and performer for a variety of works for Australian film, theatre, and television. His works have appeared in both mainstream theatre outlets and at more experimental community theatre venues. His works have been produced at film and arts festivals and have toured within Australia and internationally. He is a founder, with John Bakes, of the Big hART, an arts and social service organization that exists to help the poor and disadvantaged reconnect with the arts. The organization works with people in regional, rural, and isolated areas of Australia, bringing in performances that would otherwise never be seen in these often impoverished and geographically remote areas. More than four thousand people in thirty different communities have benefited from Big hART works, noted a biographer on the ICPC Sixth Annual Colloquium: Communities in Action for Crime Prevention Web site. Raskin has started, created, or served as mentor on nearly two dozen Big hART projects, a biographer on the Arts Tasmania Web site further related.

Raskin is the writer and director of the play Beasty Girl (known alternately as Beasty Grrrl), a work that involves Tasmanian-born matinee idol Errol Flynn, an American film mainstay during the 1930s and 1940s, and the last surviving thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger. In a story told from the viewpoint of an elderly woman claiming to be Flynn's illegitimate daughter, and from the perspective of the doomed thylacine, the play looks at the sometimes unpleasant realities and abundant myths behind the star's success, fame, and physical beauty. Combining a variety of visual techniques such as real-time video, musical pieces, digital imagery, shadowplay, and text, the work sees Flynn's life as a "snapshot of the relentless colonial quest of the culture that created him," commented a reviewer on thePerth International Arts Festival Web site.

Box the Pony, written by Raskin and Leah Purcell, is a one-person performance vehicle for Purcell, who has also performed in productions of Beasty Girl. Again combining various cinematic and performance effects, including song, spoken word, audience interaction, and movement, the play tells the life story of Purcell's alter-ego, Steff, the youngest of seven children of interracial parents, who grew up in a mission town in Queensland, Australia. Steff is surrounded by loving family and distinctive characters, such as Nanna, who tells her about her aboriginal ancestors and heritage; her mother, who lives for the day when her pension comes in; and, most importantly, there is Box, her grandfather's pony and Steff's means of temporary escape from the frequent bleakness and poverty of her life. Rob Pensalfini, writing for Media Cultures Reviews called Box the Pony "an evening of intelligent, passionate, and highly personal (and therefore relevant) theatre."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

ONLINE

Arts Tasmania Web site,http://www.arts.tas.gov.au/ (September 29, 2006), biography of Scott Raskin.

Australian Government: It's an Honour, Australians Celebrating Australians Web site,http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/ (May 24, 2006), "Friendship a Potent Cure for Cambodia's Troubles," profile of Scott Raskin.

Big hART Web site,http://www.bighart.org (September 29, 2006).

Cicada,http://www.cicada.tv/ (September 29, 2003), profile of Scott Raskin.

Doollee Web site,http://www.doollee.com/ (September 29, 2006), bibliography of Scott Raskin.

Drama Australia Conference 2005,http://conferenceplus.com.au/ (September 29, 2006), biography of Scott Raskin.

ICPC Sixth Annual Colloquium: Communities in Action for Crime Prevention Web site,http://www.colloquium2006.info/ (September 29, 2006), biography of Scott Raskin.

Media Culture Reviews,http://reviews.media-culture.org.au/ (May 26, 2000), Rob Pensalfini, review of Box the Pony.

Melbourne International Arts Festival Web site,http://www.melbournefestival.com.au/ (September 29, 2006), profile of Scott Raskin.

National Arts & Cultural Alliance Web site,http://www.naca.org.au/ (September 29, 2006), biography of Scott Raskin.

Perth International Arts Festival Web site,http://www.perthfestival.com.au/ (September 29, 2006), review of Beasty Grrrl.

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