Straight in a gay world

SWITCHING THE NORMS: Alexandra Rigby and Jack Twelvetree take the lead roles in Do Your Parents Know You Are Straight.

SWITCHING THE NORMS: Alexandra Rigby and Jack Twelvetree take the lead roles in Do Your Parents Know You Are Straight.

NEWCASTLE playwright Riley McLean has created a world on the stage in which most people are homosexual, and heterosexuals are in the minority. 

Do Your Parents Know You are Straight is the debut production for McLean as writer and director. 

“It’s about a teenage boy, Casey,  who wants to be a writer,” McLean said.

“He is the only straight kid in school … it’s about his struggle to accept himself and come out to everyone he knows.”

McLean said she used the technique of switching the norms within the play to open the subject matter up to a wider audience. 

“This is what it is like for anyone who doesn't understand,” she said. 

“It is hard to explain to people what it is like to be part of a minority and to have to come out to people and to be different.

“I hope straight people watching it, I hope it will open their eyes a bit.”

The satirical stage play is a story within a story. Casey writes a story about a girl named Riley who lives in a world where homosexuals are in the minority. The experiences of the two lead characters mirror each other, just the settings differ. 

“He over dramatised things in Riley’s world and makes things bigger, because that is how he feels,” McLean said. 

The character of Riley is semi-autobiographical, McLean admits. 

“It wasn’t on purpose, it just kind of happened,” she said. 

“Writing the play helped me discover things about myself, it really opened things up.”

The play began as a 10 minute comedy sketch which was staged at Short and Sweet Festival, Sydney. It was so well received McLean decided to develop it into a two act play. It runs for two hours. 

The show features a cast of 14 players aged between 15 and 23, with Cassie Hamilton as assistant director. 

Do Your Parents Know You Are Straight will be performed at the Civic Playhouse, Hunter Street, from May 3-6.

Tickets are available online at: premier.ticketek.com.au

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