The early days of some of Australia's greatest cultural and public figures will be celebrated in a new book.
Local actor, John Gaden AO, and fellow students which include Germaine Greer, Robert Hughes, Clive James and John Bell, among others, are the subject of a book which will explore university theatre in the mid 1950s-1960s.
The book entitled The Ripples before the New Wave: Drama at the University of Sydney 1957-63 will reveal how a group of students from the University of Sydney influenced Australian theatre and film in the 1970s.
John Gaden and his peers continued a tradition of university theatre which goes all the way back to the early 19th-century.
Gaden said that the book was a meticulous account of what happened.
"It was a terribly exciting time," Gaden said.
"[The performances] were an opening up of new areas which found their way into the mainstream."
Gaden offered advice for actors at the start of their career.
"If theatre is your passion you should go for it," Gaden said.
"You should see as much theatre as you can and work hard at it.
"There will be heartbreak, there will be poverty, but if it's a real passion go ahead."
After a life spent in Sydney, Gaden, has moved to an acreage in the Southern Highlands.
"Mainly I wanted a garden and that's what I've got," he said. "I spend my life trying to maintain [my garden] and not kill too many plants."
The Ripples before the New Wave: Drama at the University of Sydney 1957-63 will be launched February 27.