Deaf, Queer And Coming Out. Sam Martin's Autobiographical Story In Development At The Flying Nun By Brand X
Sam Martin's poignant autobiographical account of coming out during the 2017 marriage equality plebiscite will be presented to the public for the first time this November 29 and 30 in a staged reading at The Flying Nun by Brand X in Darlinghurst, Sydney.
In development with Director Dan Graham and award-winning Producer Andrew Lee since early 2019, Sam I Am is a one-man show exploring the intersectionality of Sam's identities as a gay, queer, hard-of-hearing and deaf man.
Looking back on his experience and self-identity with new insight and clarity, Sam's stories draw upon his rawest coming-of-age moments - being closeted during the plebiscite, coming out, finding first love, his years of speech pathology, hearing devices and ultimately finding confidence and pride in his identity.
The showings will be made fully accessible, including Auslan interpreters and live captioning, thanks to a GoFundMe campaign that raised 100% of funds in just one hour.
"Telling my story is important to me because I've heard so few stories from queer deaf artists" said Sam, "I'm thrilled to be able to do it with the support of so many people, and to be able to present it with the kind of accessibility I feel every theatrical production should be able to offer".
For Director Dan Graham the work is a passionately personal project. "As both a neurodivergent and queer-identifying man this work is very important to me", said Dan, "to be able to be work with Sam and the creative team from inception to stage is extremely satisfying, but really it's my hope that with this we'll be encouraging the wider performing arts community to embrace our stories, told using our voices."
This development, supported by Brand X's Flying Nun program, will be the first opportunity for the public to experience an exciting new voice in Australian storytelling. Equal parts humour, honesty and hope, it is a rare opportunity to hear from a deaf millennial performer about his experience of contemporary Australian life and identity during a period of political conservatism. The creative team hopes to take the work into a fully staged production in 2020.
What: Sam I Am - In-Progress Readings
When: 8:00pm, Fri 29th and Saturday 30th November
Where: East Sydney Community and Arts Centre , 34 Burton Street Darlinghurst , Sydney , 2010
Tickets: General Admission $20
Running time: Approx. 60 mins, no interval
Accessibility: Auslan Interpreter / Live Captioning / Wheelchair Accessible
ABOUT BRAND X AND THE FLYING NUN
Since 2005, Brand X provides subsidised workspace and creative development programs alongside facilities for hire where artists can traverse the entire creative process from development to presentation. Brand X maintain a charter that is relevant and responsive to the Independent Arts sector dealing specifically with arts-practice sustainability, skills development and capacity building. The Flying Nun program showcases outcomes from Brand X's performing arts residencies at the East Sydney Community and Arts Centre in Darlinghurst (ESCAC). It is a space where artists can develop and test new contemporary performance work, nurturing new performance concepts that the more conventional spaces are hesitant to run. Since 2018, The Flying Nun program has commissioned 65 performances from independent artist and organisations. With an audience that goes over 5057 visitors, The Flying Nun by Brand X has produced income of more than $63,336 that goes back directly to the artists.