Midsumma Pathways in Midsumma Festival 2023

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Midsumma Pathways is a nine-month mentorship program for LGBTQIA+ artists with disability. The Pathways program provides a queer context for fourteen LGBTQIA+ participants with disability to develop their artistic practices. It includes access to professional mentoring, group workshops and contact with arts industry representatives, that build participants' capacity.

We recently announced our 2022-23 cohort of fourteen incredible artists and we're thrilled that four of them (plus a bonus alumni!) are involved with events in Midsumma Festival 2023.

Image by Angelita Biscotti.

Amplify: On the 23rd Day, Mars Was in Gemini

An evening of multi-disciplinary performance-art by creatives with roots in the Western suburbs. Guest curator Angelita Biscotti brings together Mohamed Chamas, Daniel R Marks, Piano Punk, Scotty So, Chichi Nwokocha and Cher Tan to respond through movement, stories and sound to the latest updates in planetary motion.

This event has been curated by current cohort member Angelita Biscotti and also features Midsumma Pathways participant Kip Mac (performing as Piano Punk).

Angelita Biscotti is a mid-career literary critic and writer, author of two chapbooks, and recently joined the University of Melbourne's School of Culture and Communication as a tutor in Gender Studies. She is currently working on an EP about the lived experience of being a patient in psychoanalysis in 2022, and an EP using sonic arbitrary constraints based on planetary motion.

Kip Mac is a classically-trained pianist and singer who specializes in hardcore, metal, grunge, and punk on piano. They are also autistic. Blending in serious cultural criticism with irreverent campy frivolity and low-brow jokes, Kip's shows are often a cathartic look at supposedly "masculine" hard-rock genres and the fans and subcultures that love them.

23 Jan, Bluestone Church Arts Space. 

Transmansplaining

Transmansplaining’ is an original one-man stage show based on the experiences of Ben, a self-described “short, balding, bearded, gay, trans man”. Using humour, storytelling, video diaries, and intimate disclosures, he reveals his unique perspective on life as a transgender man.

Drawing on his memoir ‘A Cut Closer to Whole’ and eighteen years living a man, Transmansplaining chronicles Ben’s early inklings of being different, the realisation of his sexuality and gender dysphoria, and the poignant and often humorous observations about being AFAB (assigned female at birth) and life pre- and post-transition.

Ben MacEllen is an author, playwright, feminist, LGBTIQA+ activist/advocate, public speaker, actor, and disabled creative. 

25 - 26 Jan, Victorian Pride Centre - Theatrette.

Lemon Tree on Dreg Street by Amy May Nunn

20-something misfits, Twiglet and Boots, live in a ramshackle house on the outskirts of suburbia. The pair is determined to make the most of summer before Boots moves out to work for their mum's company. But with an old Possum marrying their lemon tree, a vagabond Cowgirl officiating the ceremony, and a Vulture circling the property, things are bound to get interesting... 

Amy May Nunn is an award-winning, queer and neurodiverse writer and theatre maker, originally from the UK. Amy is fascinated by heightened, uncanny worlds, and their work explores fantasy, escapism and magic realism.

27 Jan - 4 Feb, Theatre Works.

Cherry

It's a little bit cabaret, a little bit comedy and a whole lot of Katy Perry. It's 2008 and 13 year old Sarah is watching RAGE when Katy Perry's 'I Kissed A Girl' comes on and her obsession with Katy begins. Through classic Katy Perry songs, Cherry hilariously and insightfully celebrates the power of music to transform and enlighten in this one woman’s thank you card to her idol.

Sarah Carroll (2021-22 Midsumma Pathways alumni) is a Rotuman/Australian queer multidisciplinary artist working across live performance, writing, directing, film/tv and movement. Sarah is deeply passionate about creating work that pushes for female queer representation and the intersectionality of queer identities. Sarah is also interested in focusing on neurodiverse and mental health experiences and cultural identity interweaving her experiences coming from a mixed race background and growing up in Australia and Fiji.

8 - 11 Feb, The Butterfly Club - Downstairs.

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The artists behind the 2023 artwork

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Image description: A photograph taken from above of a group of seven people of diverse ages, body types, skin tones, and clothing cradling one another on a background of dark to light orange featuring pencil-drawn outlines of their bodies and four faded rainbow-coloured outlines of their bodies and four rainbow coloured rectangles layered across some of the forms.
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