Sam Martin’s powerful autobiographical account of coming out during the 2017 marriage equality plebiscite, Sam I Am, will be presented to the public for the first time this November in a staged reading at the East Sydney Community and Arts Centre, Darlinghurst.
In development with Director Dan Graham and award-winning Producer Andrew Lee since early 2019, Sam I Am is a one-man show exploring the intersectionality of Sam’s identities as a gay, queer, hard-of-hearing and deaf man.
Looking back on his experience and self-identity with new insight and clarity, Sam’s stories draw upon his rawest coming-of-age moments – being closeted during the plebiscite, coming out, finding first love, his years of speech pathology, hearing devices and ultimately finding confidence and pride in his identity.
The showings will be made fully accessible, including Auslan interpreters and live captioning, thanks to a GoFundMe campaign that raised 100% of funds in just one hour.
“Telling my story is important to me because I’ve heard so few stories from queer deaf artists” said Sam, “I’m thrilled to be able to do it with the support of so many people, and to be able to present it with the kind of accessibility I feel every theatrical production should be able to offer”.
For Director Dan Graham the work is a passionately personal project. “As both a neurodivergent and queer-identifying man this work is very important to me,” said Dan. “To be able to be work with Sam and the creative team from inception to stage is extremely satisfying, but really it’s my hope that with this we’ll be encouraging the wider performing arts community to embrace our stories, told using our voices.”
This development, supported by Brand X’s Flying Nun program, will be the first opportunity for the public to experience an exciting new voice in Australian storytelling. Equal parts humour, honesty and hope, it is a rare opportunity to hear from a deaf millennial performer about his experience of contemporary Australian life and identity during a period of political conservatism. The creative team hopes to take the work into a fully staged production in 2020.
Director: Dan Graham Writer & Performer: Sam Martin Sound Design: Patrick Howard Stage Manager: Pearl Junor Producer: Andrew Lee
Sam I Am (In-Progress Showing)
East Sydney Community and Arts Centre , 34 Burton Street, Darlinghurst
Performances: 29 & 30 November 2019 – 8.00pm
Information and Bookings: www.brandx.org.au
Image: Sam Martin – photo by Dane Howell
Accessibility: Auslan Interpreter / Live Captioning / Wheelchair Accessible