Abstract: At last count, Australians identify with over 270 ancestries, and speak over 400 languages, yet Australia continues to be represented as a racially and culturally homogenous society, especially in the field of mainstage Australian theatre. Using Ghassan Hage’s concepts of containment, enrichment, and the dialectic of inclusion and exclusion, this paper examines the governance of multiculturalism and of multicultural workers in the field of Australian mainstage theatre, through contrapuntal readings of two recent theatre productions. It suggests that it is only through the self-representation of what Hage calls the multicultural Real that mainstage Australian theatre can move from specular distortion to a true mirror of contemporary Australia.

Keywords: mainstage theatre; multiculturalism; Bourdieu; Hage

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