About Kate

Kate McNamara is a poet, playwright and critical theorist. For almost ten years she worked as a dramtaurg with Splinters Theatre Company in Canberra, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. She constructed Faust-The Heat of Knowledge as part of the Australian National University’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations. She was elected to the A.N.U. Emeritus Faculty for her services in the creative arts to her beloved Alma Mater. McNamara’s other works include The Rule of Zip, In the Secret Room, and The Year of the Dog. Her works have been performed throughout Australia, and in Japan, Ireland, Canada and Greece. In 1998 McNamara was invited to Galway to deliver the Keynote Address to the Fourth International Conference of Women Playwrights.

McNamara has always disliked mainstage theatre and worked extensively within the Australian Surrealism Movement as a founding member of underground, cult group Aktion Surreal and later collaborating in establishing Aberrant Genotype Press. Her printed works include Leaves, an anthropological journey through the writer’s unconscious; as well as poetry, short stories and critical theory in a range of journals.

She was mentored in the theatrical arts by the legendary Dorothy Hewett and raised in the poetic arts by A.D.Hope. She likes working in the edges of different cross-arts horizons and feeds off implacable challenges. She lives in Canberra with her children, her cats and her home is often called The Sherbrooke Gallery.

She has been dragged into Web Two Land, somewhat unwillingly, by the very dedicated and persistent Dr. Megan Poore.

Visual works on this site include photography by ‘pling, Fiona Edge and McNamara as well as images of art works from the collection of Marney Virginia Blattman.


  1. Robert said,

    April 13, 2008 at 12:33 am

    Ah, the Australian Surrealism Movement with its secret handshakes and bone-snapping party salutes …

  2. katemcnamara said,

    July 6, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    You are amazing!
    Anne Caldwell

  3. katemcnamara said,

    July 6, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Benefia; Still waiting

  4. katemcnamara said,

    July 6, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    James michael Rowe: love always

  5. katemcnamara said,

    July 6, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Geoffrey Rhys lewis hughes: Wish i had time to read it

  6. katemcnamara said,

    July 6, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Well she is my mum what do you expect, on my 18th I told evrybody dhe was amazing, a combination of mother theresa and Ghengis Khan

  7. katemcnamara said,

    July 6, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Happy Birthday Enrys Michael emtysmcnamara@hotmail.com.au or see JJJ website for Dishonest Promise. me, Iam obsessede with his song the River
    Larry Sistky called him a genius when he was 8 yeras old after playing his compositiont The memory Of Eamonm

  8. Daniel said,

    July 13, 2008 at 1:31 am

    You sound like a very fascinating person.
    Thank you for reading Ninety Four.


  9. Daniel said,

    August 9, 2008 at 1:49 am

    to answer your question, In a sense, perhaps.

    As a student of music, I constantly find two dimensions to it. Much like a coin, they relate to each other quite respectively. First, you find music in its theory. Fathomed, measured, written down in solid dimensions. Music is communicated through intervals, rhythm and measure. These are the things that Mozart, Bach, all the greats knew how to do that anyone could learn. And then there is the soul of music, essentially the heart. It is what makes you cry when you hear just the right part of your favorite symphony. Or the ballad that you and someone special fall in love to. Its the intangible, yet closer than air feeling inside of us. It is the gift that Mozart, Bach and all the other greats gave to us that we could never reproduce in a thousand lifetimes.

    I believe that this beauty most definitely points to something. It is a voice that is echoing through the symphonies, through music. It is echoing inside of us.

  10. Chris Jones said,

    August 21, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Hey Kate, your web page is most impressive. I tried to send you an e mail, but am not sure if it went. I hope you are well. Well done with the site.

  11. captain planet said,

    December 16, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    whoa.(*shivers*) this is all most probably what it feels like to be the explorer that discovers atlantis. unsure what to do with the knowledge, hoping not to cause destruction. whoaa

  12. Gerald Keaney said,

    March 19, 2011 at 4:29 am

    I’ve put a 6000-7000 wrd critical history of 1990s Canberra art group Aktion Surreal up here:


    It mentions a fair bit of stuff about 90s underground experimental theatre company Splinters, and includes some Splinters lnks, but is more interested in critique of the ideas that animated Aktion Surreal. A number of their activities are described, some are linked mainly to anecdotes I have penned about the group. The article also briefly takes up Gavin Findlay’s interests in establishing new challenging art groups on the ground today. It has a critical overview of the role of figures like Anthony Hayes, Hal Judge and Kate McNamara. The background of the Piltdown Frauds and some other bands is described. Canberra poetry slams are briefly mentioned.

    • geraldkeaney said,

      October 20, 2013 at 12:43 am

      This link no longer works, Sorry to take up blog space here. Working on a revised version: Should be closer to 15,000 wrds long. Be trying to make it a little more polished, tho that’s far from my natural bent.

  13. December 18, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  14. jennie said,

    December 30, 2012 at 2:29 am

    is this page active?

  15. Khail jureidini said,

    January 6, 2013 at 1:18 am

    Is anyone able to forward me info regarding Kate McNamara and Aberrant Genotype,especially her play about Francis Webb which was performed Once at the Catholic University North Sydney late 90s in association with Peter solway’s series of paintings…of memory-circuit-interest to yours truly khail jureidini,who attempted the role of frank Webb,and still wonders if frank Webb was one of the first patients at Callan park hospital to introduce himself to me during my first and/or second admissions to that institution in 1968-9…

    • katemcnamara said,

      February 12, 2013 at 7:00 am

      Dear Khail.
      Looking forward to hearing from you soon. How could anyone forget Frank Webb? Hope you are doing ok

  16. Matthew said,

    February 3, 2013 at 11:18 am

    I hope Hal Judge quits pretending to be a writer and embraces his birthright as a fully formed Public Servant with a high disposable income. Come on, it’s just as fashionable with similar fringe benefits

  17. jennie burrows said,

    February 12, 2013 at 8:57 am

    kate, judy mcpherson is trying to get in contact with you re the persephone play…is this the best contact place?

  18. September 10, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Down with Tony Abbott!

  19. Linda van Coller said,

    March 26, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    Hi Kate my name is Linda and I met you at the airport! Lovely meeting you! You are such a free spirit! Have fun on your holiday!!

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