PLAYLIST is a selection of writers, theatre-makers and new talent who tell bold, unique LGBTQIA+ stories on stage for audiences hungry for new voices. PLAYLIST was a partnership between Seymour Centre, Mardi Gras and Siren Theatre Co which celebrates the creation and development of original Australian theatre with LGBTQIA+ focus.
James Elazzi who worked with us on the National Play Festival 2018, and Miranda Aguilar who participated in our New Play Development program reflect on PLAYLIST, and what it did for their work.
Through the years developing Let Me Know When You Get Home, though I’ve had many generous readers read the different drafts, listening to an audience experience the work on stage has been an entirely different and wonderful experience. It was especially wonderful to have this work presented at Mardi Gras 2019, to a delightfully queer and accepting audience who embraced both its praise and criticisms of Sydney Mardi Gras and our community. Listening to the audience’s response, knowing that there were so many people who could relate, made the solitary work of writing and rewriting feel less lonely. I’m more fired up than ever to bring this work in its entirety to the stage.
Having my play, ‘Son of Byblos’ read out publicly by Siren Theatre, meant that I was able to connect with actors and an established director that could really reach into the script, essentially making it come to life. I was given an immeasurable lesson, sitting in the audience and listening to the play being read out incredibly talented actors. ‘Son of Byblos’ is about breaking new ground within my Lebanese community and my own personal heritage. It is a story about the constraints that people go through currently, in 2019, yet very few, if any, have the courage to speak up and really call out unfairness. My writing stems from the struggle to make sense of why things are the way they are. We are born into culture, religion, expectations and societal norms and somehow, someway, we need to find a balance that makes sense