Tucked away behind the Uniting Church in New Farm lives Nash Theatre. The award-winning community theatre company delivers show-stopping productions for over two decades.
Nash Theatre’s Australia-first production of Scott Elmegreen and Drew Fornarola’s bisexual-themed stage play Straight opens later this month.
The play follows Ben (Tyler Harris), a 26-year-old who likes beer, sport, girlfriend Emily (Betsy Appelhof), and well… Chris (Matt Steenson).
The play is described by director Phil Carney as thought-provoking and witty. It takes on the challenges faced by a 21st century individual as they question their moral values and sexual identity.
“[Straight] explores sexuality between all three characters, and challenges moral thinking over social expectations,” Carney told QN Magazine.
“It asks: do [people] follow societal values or are they strong enough to actually follow their own beliefs, and their own morals?”
Phil said Nash Theatre chose Straight because nobody had performed it in Australia before. And he said he couldn’t help but make comparisons between the characters and the everyday New Farm individual.
“When I first picked it up, I thought I was reading a journey of a New Farm local,” he said.
“I’d encourage people to think about the messages behind the play because there are a lot of people being confronted everyday with the issue of identity and sexuality.”
Nash Theatre has staged productions for over 20 years
Nash Theatre resided in many Brisbane homes throughout its long history. It opened on Nash Street in Rosalie in 1996.
The company then moved several times. It found a home on Balfour Street in New Farm in 1996, and moved to the Valley Twin Cinema in 2002.
But eventually, the theatre group found a permanent home behind the Uniting Church on Merthyr Road in 2007.
Determined that the show must always go on, Nash at times utilised spaces from the New Farm Croquet Club, the bandstand, or the library to ensure they could still mount productions.
Nash Theatre’s Vice President Brenda White wants the community to know that Nash Theatre is open to everyone.
“We try to put on a program that suits a wide audience and we would like people from the area to come along,” she said.
“We really want [them] to think of Nash as part of the community.”
Straight opens in New Farm on September 20. Phil Carney promises audiences can expect an evening of fun, reflection, and maybe even some torso.
“Laughter, some naked skin, some sadness, and a twist at the end,” he teased.
For tickets, visit the Nash Theatre website.
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