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Acting up
The playwright, director and dramaturg Declan Greene has made Australian theatre speak to our unstable present, with a penchant for casting his plays – which are steeped in queer aesthetics – against expectations of gender, age and race.

Greene made a name for himself placing anarchic gender-fluid performers in satires of southern Gothic and Hollywood tropes, collaborating with the performer Ash Flanders as the duo Sisters Grimm. Their early shows were staged in venues such as a Melbourne car park, a vacant shed and a suburban backyard. Later productions premiered on mainstream theatre stages.

It’s a warm New Year’s Eve in Bondi and Ewen Leslie is mulling over all he has to be grateful for as he prepares to enter 2020, the year he’ll turn 40. His older child, Elliot, can’t see the fireworks from their vantage point in the beachside suburb where they live, so Leslie hoists him up on his back, the four-year-old’s hands covering his father’s eyes. Leslie laughs, but this is what being a parent is all about: sacrificing your own desires for those of your kids. So long as Elliot can see the fireworks, his father is happy.

Leslie treasures this moment, a photo of which has been filtered in black and white and added to his artfully curated Instagram account.

Steve's essays Bent Man Running published in Growing Up Queer in Australia and Stream drama in Meanjin autumn 2020.
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