A new play by Griffith University PhD student Linda Hassall will premiere at La Boite Theatre Company’s Roundhouse Theatre on September 20.

Post Office Rose centres on the friendship of three women from a small country town who re-unite at the Post Office Hotel after a 15-year break. But all is not as it seems and tension soon erupts, disrupting the idyllic gathering.

Hassall’s play, which formed the basis of her Honours thesis questions perceptions of female characters in professional theatre practice.

“Our play-righting culture is comprised predominantly of middle-class, educated male writers concerned with urban characters in urban environments,” she said.

“There is still a tendency in this country to stereotype female characters, especially female characters from regional or country environments. This play rejects these nostalgic traditions and pushes the envelope of how female characters are perceived to behave onstage.”

She said she used the outback landscape as a symbol for the biological and psychological motivation of her characters.

“I grew up in a country town similar to the one in play and it’s the sort of place that you have to get out of or you just wither away. I think everyone wants to escape those sorts of towns when they’re young and you don’t appreciate the people in those places until you get older.”

After winning an industry Matilda Award for new writing, Hassall’s PhD research will continue her journey into new writing for Australian performance.

Post Office Rose will run from September 20 to 29 at the Roundhouse Theatre, Kelvin Grove.