A one-man show navigating the terrain of boxing, long-distance running and floral art.
Growing up gay is not for sissies. Especially in 1970s rural Otago. In this autobiographical work, Michael Metzger weaves together childhood memories with the present-day experience of training for and running a marathon. Sometimes we find a sense of community in unexpected places.
The Changing Shed formed the creative component of Michael’s PhD at Deakin University in Melbourne. Michael presented a 20-minute excerpt from the play at the UNESCO Cities of Literature Short Play Festival in Dunedin in 2019. That performance was nominated for Outstanding Performance at the 2019 Dunedin Theatre Awards. Dunedin Fringe will be the first public performance of the full-length work.
The play adds to the small canon of New Zealand gay plays and is the first to specifically address gay identity in a rural context. Essentially, it’s a play about overcoming the long-term effects of bullying, offering a message of hope and solidarity. British dramaturg Dr Fiona Graham, who reviewed the UNESCO Short Play Festival presentation, wrote that “[i]t will be a very important work for young men when they are finding their place in the world.”