My Big Fat Lesbian Greek Wedding
A theatrical, lesbian twist on the story you know and love!
We’re proud to announce that the phenomenally talented Zoe Brinnand won Playtime Staged Reading 2017 with her play-in-development “My Big Fat Lesbian Greek Wedding”. The play is heavily autobiographical, and as you’ve guessed, very funny. It draws on Zoe and her girlfriend’s experience within the Greek community in Melbourne.
Playtime Staged Readings is Gasworks Arts Park’s commitment to developing new voices in LGBTIQ+ theatre. It has been running since 2015, this was its 3rd year. Working in partnership with Midsumma Festival, we invite playwrights from the LGBTIQ+ community to submit works in progress.
These are then presented to audiences as ‘Playtime Staged Readings’, with a panel of four industry judges. These judges come from Gasworks Arts Park and Midsumma Festival. The audience and judges then vote on the winner. As the winner, Zoe is then offered mentoring and development to help further her work.
Zoe Brinnand | Photo by Clarke Scott
Midsumma Festival generously waives the fee for the finished play to be registered in future Midsumma festivals. This is a powerful message of support for the developing artist.
Gasworks Arts Park was a Midsumma Festival 2017 hub, supported by the City of Port Phillip "I can't thank Gasworks Arts Park and Midsumma enough for the opportunity to bring my work to such a supportive audience. Being involved in the Playtime Staged Readings was invaluable as it helped me gain immediate feedback on my writing, and connect with a crowd who may not have otherwise seen my work.
This story is deeply important for me to tell as my partner is Greek and has battled with acceptance from her family and community. Since delving further into this project, I have found that she is far from alone in this situation. In a country where we've made great advances in the general acceptance and treatment of gay and lesbian people, and with marriage equality so close on the horizon, I believe it's imperative to realise that many gay and lesbian people still face homophobia in their own homes daily.
"With this play I want to explore not only the affect that this homophobia has on individuals, but some of the causes behind it, i.e. culture, and the experience of the parents. It will be raw in parts, tender in others, and many laughs will be had along the way. I hope it brings families of all backgrounds a little closer to understanding each other."
Zoe Brinnand, Playtime Staged Readings 2017 Winner
“My Big Fat Lesbian Greek Wedding was the firm audience favourite at this year’s Playtime readings at the Midsumma Festival. We can’t wait to see the premiere season of the full-length production develop at Gasworks Arts Park. It’s been developed as an enjoyable light-hearted comedy that has at its core some relevant contemporary issues about love, multiculturalism, and family ties.
Playtime is a terrific project developed in partnership with the Midsumma Festival. Historically, dramatic theatre, particularly that based on new Australian writing, is a genre that has a long lead-time in its genesis and needs some support to develop so that GLBTI issues can be represented on stage.
The dream is to launch My Big Fat Lesbian Greek Wedding at Gasworks Arts Park in January 2018 and then to support the director to find new performance opportunities and audiences.”
Tamara Jungwirth, Director and CEO, Gasworks Arts Park
“Playtime is a fantastic initiative for the LGBTQIA+ community and cements Gasworks Arts Park’s commitment to support independent artists. It is no easy feat for artists to present a work in development to an audience, especially during its very early stages. It was especially gratifying to see how enthusiastic and generous the artists were in offering feedback to each other. For me, this is one of the most beneficial parts of Playtime – the opportunity for independent artists to network with each other and potentially even find opportunities to collaborate.”
Marisa Cesario, Programming Coordinator
"Midsumma is proud to support new artistic voices. Each of the works presented as part of Gasworks’ Playtime Staged Readings represented a fresh new playwright each with their own unique artistic vision and insights into contemporary queer life. We are excited to have worked with Gasworks Arts Park to select Zoe Brinnand as the winner of Playtime. My Big Fat Lesbian Greek Wedding is not only heart-achingly funny, but also poignantly captures the experience of coming out to a Greek Australian family."
Daniel Santangeli, Midsumma Program Manager
About Gasworks Arts Park
Gasworks Arts Park is a vibrant arts precinct producing a range of high-quality arts programs, workshops and activities for all ages. Situated in Albert Park, Melbourne, on the site of the former South Melbourne Gas Plant, Gasworks is just three kilometres from the CBD and the precinct houses four hectares of park, two theatres, three gallery spaces, a café, as well as function and workshop spaces.
Midsumma Festival is Victoria's premier queer arts and cultural Festival, for and by LGBTQIA+ communities. Held annually since 1988 Midsumma Festival has become one of Australia's most signiﬁcant arts and cultural Festivals. Midsumma works year-round to provide artists with support and tools to create, present and promote their work at Midsumma Festival.
About Zoe Brinnard
Zoe Brinnand is a Melbourne-based (Brisbane born) emerging theatre maker, with a special interest in queer stories. Her first two plays, 'The Ultimate Lesbian Double Feature' and 'The Adventures of Yoni 1 & Yoni 2', have been very well received across Australia, being staged at Midsumma, Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, and Brisbane Powerhouse's LGBTI festival, MELT.
Zoe’s short play 'Queerachy' was recently part of Short + Sweet Sydney and Short + Sweet Queer 2017.