Today isn’t technically the anniversary of anything, but it’s been a month full of happy memories helpfully supplied by Facebook’s ‘On This Day’ function.
This time last year we were preparing for the second preview of Declan Greene’s The Homosexuals, or ‘Faggots’. It’s crazy to think that was an entire year ago – so much has happened since then, but it feels like that experience just keeps giving back to me to this day – whether through changes to my theatre practice, friendships made, or the increasing number of fisting jokes in my plays.
But! We move on ever forward, and we’re quickly coming up on my second production for the year.
“IN CASE OF EMERGENCY. OR FUCKING.” – Are We Awake? goes into Tech
The second staging of Are We Awake? – originally commissioned and produced by Red Line Productions at the Old Fitz – is fast approaching. I’ve had absolutely the best and most fulfilling time working with director Sarah Hadley, and with actors Daniel Monks and Mathew Lee, the past few weeks. Time and again they have shown me things I didn’t even know about the play, and the production is sitting in a truly gorgeous and powerful place.
We bump in tomorrow (screeching!!!), and our first preview is the 21st of February.
Where on other occasions I might have found myself desperately praying for just a little more time before handing a story over to an audience, on this show I genuinely can’t wait.
There are some exciting events around the show to be announced within the next few days. For now, I can tell you that our second preview will be followed by and Q&A / meet-and-greet with the artists, with another Q&A during the second week yet to be announced. A ticket to our opening night on the 23rd will also get you exclusive entry to our opening night Foyer Party – spaces are filling up quickly, so get in ASAP.
FROM SCREEN TO STAGE: Pulse screening at MGFF + special ticket deal!!
Cast member and queer filmmaking champ Daniel Monks had his film Pulse screen at the Mardi Gras Film Festival this weekend, and we all couldn’t be more proud of him! Pulse is a challenging and complex examination of queerness and disability, and an honest look at the impacts of internalised oppression. For me, seeing it just over a year ago, the impact it had on me, how I viewed my own identity, and how I approached this very play, was unforgettable.
If you didn’t catch it at the Festival (or at any of the numerous festivals it’s screened at over the past year), then don’t worry – I have a feeling it’s going to hang around in a big way.
And GUESS WHAT? If you did catch Pulse at MGFF, then we here at Team AWA have a special deal for you! If you bring a copy or proof of your Pulse ticket to Are We Awake? and pay cash at the door, then you’ll get a $10 DISCOUNT on the price of your ticket! That means adult tickets for $25 and concession tickets for $20.
It’s a queer-disabled-mardi-party-smorgasboard of good entertainment.
“POLITICALLY ENGAGE YOUR DICK WITH MY ASS” – Kaleidoscope A Success!
Starting the year twice in a row with some homosexual, faggotty, comedic theatrical antics has shown me that every year from now on I must begin that way.
Whilst it was definitely a smaller, sometimes sadder affair, watching each reading of Kaleidoscope – each one featuring a different pair of actors! – I felt a similar kind of pride to what I felt sitting in the shocked and delighted audiences of ‘Faggots’. Where last year’s ‘Faggots‘ had pop music, copious swearing, men in their underwear, and harsh yet humorous critique of the gay mainstream, Kaleidoscope had…… actually, Kaleidoscope had all of those things too. Where ‘Faggots’ had copious drinking and slapstick comedy mixed with intra-community polemic, Kaleidoscope….. yeah, also did that…. um.
My point is that it’s really cool knowing you’ve made or been part of a work with the power to genuinely challenge normative thinking, that brings audiences of all backgrounds into the thorny complexity of a particular minority experience without becoming a lecture. And also, yknow, that people dig your jokes. That’s cool too.
The incredible dedication and thought, vulnerability and bravery, shown by each of the seven actors who took part – some of whom had never met before being thrown together, some who had barely acted before, most of whom only had the script for a matter of weeks – was immensely humbling (I’m just fkn FULL of superlatives today, aren’t I?). It was such a privilege to work with so many transmasculine and non-binary performers, all of whom have thrilling artistic futures ahead of them.
Responses to the show included “incredible”, “hilarious”, “you should totally do this on a revolve”, and, from my mum “I turned my ears off during the swearing… so about half of it”.
I’m genuinely beyond proud of what the show has became in six months, and was equally thrilled to see the amazing work of the other ArtsLab lab rats.
That’s it for now, catch ya in a foyer somewhere (hopefully mine after you see my show).