KXT’s Groundbreaking Premiere: ‘dog’ – A Fresh Perspective on OCD and Addiction

The world premiere of ‘dog’ marks a significant moment at KXT on Broadway, running from May 24 to June 8. This pioneering play, penned by the emerging queer playwright Shayne, is one of Australia’s first theatrical explorations of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and addiction.

Set in the heart of regional Australia, the narrative unfolds the intricate relationship between a sister, who contends with Contamination OCD, and their brother, who struggles with alcohol dependence. ‘dog’ seeks to dismantle the myths surrounding invisible disabilities, portraying mental ill health and addiction with courageous authenticity.

Shayne, the playwright, aims to ignite a dialogue about the often-overlooked disability aspect of OCD.

“While OCD is recognized as a mental illness, its deeper complexities are frequently misunderstood, much like the compulsions it manifests,” Shayne observes.

The play juxtaposes OCD with alcohol addiction, a condition whose symptoms are visible yet not always acknowledged as an illness. Shayne critiques the glorification of drinking as a masculine coping mechanism in Australian culture, highlighting its detrimental effects.

‘dog’ extends its impact beyond the stage through community engagement, offering resources and insights to the disabled and mental health communities. The play features two community-led panels addressing mental ill health and invisible disabilities.

The first panel, held on May 26th, focuses on misconceptions about OCD, mental health, and invisible disabilities. Panelists include Yasmin Arkinstall, an artist and influencer known as ‘OCDiva’; Shayne, the playwright; Tim Heffernan, the Deputy Commissioner of the Mental Health Commission of NSW; and Lynn Russell, the CEO and founder of Invisible Disabilities Australia.

The second panel, scheduled for June 2nd, centres on men’s mental health and addiction. Speakers include Sam Rodgers, a Community Health Promotion Officer specializing in Suicide Prevention at ACON NSW; Lexine Stapinski, a researcher at The Matilda Centre; and a representative from the Sydney Local Health District Alcohol and Drugs Service.

dog will run from May 24th – June 8th at KXT on Broadway: Cnr of, 181 Broadway, Mountain St, Ultimo NSW 2007

Additional information about ‘dog’ can be found here: https://www.kingsxtheatre.com/dog