By Matt Hanson
CALGARY — The Third Street Theatre is vibrantly unique as a queer company. Predominantly engaging with the LGBTQ community at the local level in Calgary, the newest production, X, originates from Down Under, though it simply offered too persuasive an opportunity to pass up. Sunny Drake, performance artist, workshop leader and LGBTQ activist is a powerhouse of talent, originally from Brisbane, though now a permanent resident of Canada living in Toronto.
X is his story, a female-to-male transgender man with a magical voice and stage presence, one that is selling out shows across the globe. Overcoming addiction, and becoming obsessed with fame are common to all, yet when combined with the LGBTQ experience, the drama begins to kindle. Theatre-goers can expect a brilliant work from an emerging master of theatric storytelling.
“In terms of content it is purely created by Sunny who is a transgender,” says Jonathan Bower, artistic director at Third Street Theatre, noting that this is a first both for Third Street, which has never spotlighted a transgender artist, and for Sunny, who has yet to perform his show at an all-queer company.
“I’m always out there, trying to find stories that represent where we’re at in Calgary, where we need to go, issues happening in Calgary in the queer community. What kind of entertainment do we want to see? This story is really great because it’s something that is very relatable.”
Based on a series of forty interviews that Sunny conducted with the LGBTQ community in Brisbane, X offers a serious degree of authenticity. Following Sunny’s final show, two workshops will commence at Hillhurst United Church on September 21st, inviting theatre artists, the LGTBQ community and the general public to learn about the transgender perspective and storytelling.
X runs at EPCOR CENTRE’s Motel from September 16-20.AB, Alberta, Calgary theatre, EPCOR Centre, LGBT, queer theatre, Sunny Drake, Third Street Theatre