Hello - great to meet you!
We're Jane and Cat from the Studio Theatre in Moffat. We believe every single one of us is a creative genius once we give ourselves permission to take risks and experiment. We've not been proved wrong yet! Our work helps people grow in creativity and confidence.
We've teamed up with Devine Tension, a local and luscious drag queen who's newly returned from London to her native Dumfries and Galloway. Devine is the alter ego of Dillon Colthart - a fierce, fearless, and fabulously imposing presence on the local drag scene. Dillon started his career in drag 5 years ago and is now developing the genre as a rural drag goddess.
We've worked together before - Devine performed an early show - Intervention - to a packed audience at the Studio Theatre just before the first lockdown (remember those days?).
Now, we want to create something special together, and in the spirit of experimentation, we've commissioned Devine to create a new performance piece to be staged in Summer 2023. Welcome to Passion Project!
More about Passion Project...
Passion Project is a one-person show, produced by the Studio Theatre and developed and performed by Devine.
Blending contemporary theatre and drag, this interactive, promenade performance takes a high-energy, raunchy, and raw look at love, sex, and attachment. Honest and vulnerable, it shines a light on our universal human desire for love, acceptance, and belonging.
Part autobiography, the play shows Devine trying to navigate the world in the same way most queer young people and adults do. The script also explores other LGBTQ+ issues, feelings of isolation, and discrimination. These are very real challenges for LGBTQ+ people living in rural areas - especially for young LGBTQ+ people. Without the anonymity of urban living, it takes boldness and courage to be visible as your authentic self.
These are themes Dillon has been wanting to explore for ages and we're thrilled to be the organisation supporting him to get his work to the stage.
Both Dillon and the Studio Theatre feel strongly about the need for compassion, acceptance and being safe to express who you are. By bringing these issues into the spotlight, we want to help create that safe space everywhere and for everyone.
The first performances will be in Moffat and Dumfries. To be clear - the show will be suitable for adults only, though most of our rewards are suitable for under 18s too.
We need your help to make Passion Project happen
We're excited to get Devine Tension back on stage, bringing her bold and brave look at the world to audiences in Dumfries and Galloway. But like all small theatres and most organisations in rural areas, Covid and the cost-of-living crisis have severely stretched our financial resilience, so to make this happen, we could really use your help.
Between Jane, Cat, and Dillon, we've got loads of great ideas and the energy for hard work - but that only takes us so far.
So, any donation you make - no matter how small - helps us bring Passion Project to life.
And there's more! We're excited to be one of a small number of projects selected by Crowdfunder and Creative Scotland for their Crowdmatch project - meaning that any donation you make up to 250 is matched by Creative Scotland - so you can double your money and your impact with no extra effort.
What we need the money for
We're fundraising to cover artist and development fees, venue, and tech hire, as well as marketing and asset development costs (such as materials, photographer, and videographer fees).
Your donations will help both the Studio Theatre and Devine Tension build our audience, support base and network.
It will also help the Studio Theatre deliver on our aim of supporting early-stage artists and underrepresented young, rural voices.
Photo credit: Kirstin McEwan Photography
As we've shared already, there are bigger issues that underpin the theme of Passion Project and the challenges of inclusion and acceptance.
With the increasing popularity of queer performance through such programmes as RuPaul's Drag Race, it's easy to overlook the real challenges for LGBTQ+ people living in rural areas.
Dillon's undergraduate thesis 'Queer and the Rural' explored queerness, rurality, and performance, as well as questioning if queer performance does/can exist within the rural, and what its power is.
As Dillon references in his research:
"The urban landscape was an obligatory rite of passage to ensure validity and future happiness. In the city, you are free and fabulous and comfortably surrounded by the tolerance of like-minded people; you are allowed to assimilate yourself into a world that wants you. In the countryside, you are melancholy, lonely and persecuted by people who refuse to accept you." (White 2017).
This is a common storyline amongst many LGBTQ+ identifying individuals who have grown up within a rural area. The aspiration to escape overpowers an advocation for change; the queer migration storyline portrays the journey from closeted solitary confinement, to moving away to the metropolitan, to living a happier, more freeing lifestyle. This seems, as a utopian concept, the ideal situation for queer identifying individuals. The rural is consistently synonymous with backwardness, isolation and lack of education with regards to queer engagement and community.
It is our shared hope that Passion Project contributes to a greater softening of the barriers to belonging experienced by LGBTQ+ people in Dumfries and Galloway and that it spreads understanding and acceptance in the wider community.
Photo credit: Emily Major
Check out more of Devine's Work...
"You're too fat to be gay". After/Hours responds to the often times toxic intersection of being fat and gay. Body image within the LGBTQ+ community is something many are afraid to talk about. So, let's be blunt about it. Change the conversation.