BEAR BAXTER is a queer-non-binary-femme-tomboy-dreamboat who was sent to earth to make it gayer and more romantic. Originally from the Sunshine State™, they are a playwright, performer, poet, muso, composer, and cowboy - now living, creating and sharing stories on the land of the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung peoples (Melbourne).
Bear made their theatre debut for Melbourne Fringe Festival (2017) with their one-babe-cabaret-show SHARE MY BLANKETS, which they toured to MELT FEST at the Brisbane Powerhouse (2018). Their latest project, UR STRONG FRIENDS is an exploration of being trans though the eyes of a fledgling trans lad who struggles with being the ‘strong friend’ in a community fraught with mental illness and trauma. Bear is committed to creating space for trans and gender-diverse people in music and theatre worlds. Their work is about vulnerability and human connection. At their own risk, Bear uses their life experiences to challenge ideas around identity and the issues of coming out multiple times. These works of self-discovery invariably lead to the next project of exploration.
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DIRK HOULT is a +U queer theatre artist passionate about and committed to bringing untold queer stories to the stage and devising collaborative works that focus our Australian story through a tilted lens. He was born here in Melbourne in 1981 and raised in Ipswich, QLD. He trained as an actor at USQ in Toowoomba (‘99-’01), spent a decade working in Brisbane, then moved to the UK. He's an actor, singer, producer, writer, director, dramaturg, with 20 years of industry experience. His first few years back in Melbourne were spent on the vaudeville stage; performing in, then eventually writing for, producing and directing nights of circus, burlesque, comedy, magic, and music. In 2016 he graduated from VCA with a masters in directing theatre. After which he spent a year interviewing women whose lives had been affected by HIV; medical professionals, volunteers, family, friends, and those living with HIV. these transcripts became his first verbatim play-text WE WERE THERE, which he directed and presented at Chapel Off Chapel (2018). He is currently developing ideas around the next verbatim project which seeks insight from a spectrum of intergenerational and multicultural COMING OUT experiences from a post-marriage-equality Australia.
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