Kaleidoscope II

‘Break Glass (in case of emergency): a Festival of New Work’. Shopfront Arts Co-Op 30th Jan – 4th Feb 2018. 

IMG_20170815_100432_283Gabriel Stevenson is just a regular, normal, transgender guy just trying to get through life. It’s 2014 and he has his studies, his annoying co-workers, a dying fern, and the next episode of Game of Thrones torrented and ready – and there’s really nothing at all unusual about him or his life. That is, if only his reflection would stop trying to ruin his life…

Skip ahead three years and Gabe is a regular, normal, gay man with a column on queer politics and culture, a cute apartment in Potts-Point-but-really-it’s-Kings-Cross, a gaggle of fawning friends, and a wide range of dicks to choose from. And, yeah, you guessed it, there’s nothing at all unusual about him or his life… until a past he’d forgotten comes back, in the most annoying of ways.

Once a small, quiet, one-man drama about gender dysphoria and the “everyday” trans experience, Kaleidoscope is a dynamic queer sci-fi comedy about identity, community, forgiveness, and leather bears who like to be called ‘princess’.

Darkly funny and incredibly camp, this sharp two-hander by Charles O’Grady (Telescope, Are We Awake?) explodes space, time, and the gender binary all from one man’s bedroom.

Developed within the 2017/2018 Shopfront Arts Co-op ArtsLab Residency. Staged as part of BREAK GLASS (in case of emergency), the ArtsLab Festival of New Work.


Cast & Crew 

Written and directed by Charles O’Grady

Dramaturg, Nell Ranney
Mentor/dramaturg, Nick Coyle
Producer, Hannah Strout
Design and lighting, Doug Niebling
Sound design, Charles O’Grady
Workshop cast, Harry Winsome and Oliver Ayres


Oliver Ayres
Nyx Calder
Nathan Juhasz
Kurt Pimblett
Axel-Nathaniel Rose
Harry Winsome
Rowan Yeomans

With thanks to

Montague Basement
bAKEHOUSE theatre and KXT
The Seaborn Broughton and Walford Foundation
Jennifer Medway
Finn Davis
Hamish Wood
Roslynn, Brian, Kieran, and Russell
Emily R


Artist’s Note

This play was first born as a one-man drama, in the Spring of 2014. Since then it’s seen two actors, three venues, approximately thirteen thousand drafts, and – now – a complete genre change, a cast doubling, and the addition of five more talented trans performers to the team. At the ripe old age of three-and-a-half, this play is about as old as I am trans – and I’m relieved to say it’s aging with far more grace than me.

I’ve learned and changed a lot in those years, and my work has changed with me. The version of me who wrote that first draft would probably not only dislike what the play’s become, but would probably not like me either – would think me problematic, “too gay”, too feminine. But the truth is I’m okay with that. None of us are now the person we once expected us to be, because we learned as we lived that life is never that simple.

I think growing up isn’t just about forgiving yourself for your past mistakes. I think it’s also about learning to let past you forgive the person you become.

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