Queensland Theatre have launched their inaugural season of DOOR 3, an initiative that will support three independent, Queensland based theatre collectives to each make and stage a bold new production. Named DOOR 3 after the signage on the Diane Cilento Studio, the intimate, black box space will be home to three electrifying productions across 2024.

Through the generosity of The Jelley Family Foundation, Queensland Theatre are committed to the DOOR 3 initiative for at least three years. So often, professional theatre can be prohibitively expensive, but through this supported program, tickets are affordable, so people who normally don’t get to see shows of this calibre will have the chance.

Scene at the launch of the DOOR 3 program for 2024

The three teams of independent creatives behind these new works each shared a sneak peek of what’s to come.

The first production will be The Norman Mailer Anecdote, written by Anthony Mullins and presented by Big Scary Animal. This is Anthony Mullins’ first play, which was a finalist in the 2022 Queensland Premier’s Drama Awards. Mullins is a Brisbane writer, and projects he has written and directed have been awarded a Primetime Emmy, an International Digital Emmy, two BAFTAs and five AWGIEs. Big Scary Animal is a collaborative banner for NIDA alumni Julian Curtis and Zoë Houghton.

The Norman Mailer Anecdote is a compelling legal drama that explodes out of Brisbane’s upper middle class,” says Houghton. “You’re in for quite a ride.”

Julian Curtis will step into the director role for the first time, with a cast of three featuring Zoë Houghton, Christopher Sommers and 2022 NIDA graduate Hattie Clegg-Robinson.

“The play is a sensitive and nuanced portrayal of a family, a group of complex individuals who are wrestling with a profound crisis of identity,” says Mullins. “It explores the question of what happens when the very idea of who you think you are, or who you thought you were, is attacked and contested by others.”

The second production will be Scenes from a Yellow Peril, written by the award-winning Chinese-New Zealand writer and poet Nathan Joe and presented by The Reaction Theory in partnership with BIPOC Arts Australia. The Reaction Theory, founded by Egan Sun-Bin whilst he was studying Acting at QUT, aims to advocate for the next generation of emerging artists to create theatre for audiences aged 18-29.

Scenes from a Yellow Peril is less of a play, and more of a series of insights, monologues, poems and a musical number from an Asian New Zealand perspective, that when stitched together, exposes the pain of the way in which some people are othered, but whose experiences will not be denied,” says Sun-Bin.

Directed by Chelsea August and Egan Sun-Bin, the cast includes Jazz Zhao, Chris Nguyen, Peter Wood, Daphne Chen and Emily Liu.

“This show offers a chance to engage with art that is not just beautiful and meaningful,” says Alyson Joyce, founder of BIPOC Arts Australia. “It is an opportunity to support a movement that is re-shaping the cultural narrative, championing diversity and advocating for equity.”

The third and final production will be Wanderings, written by Margi Brown Ash and Zac Callaghan, and presented by multi award-winning company The Nest Ensemble, founded in Brisbane in 2004 by Margi Brown Ash and Leah Mercer.

Wanderings is a two-hander, directed by Leah Mercer and starring Margi Brown Ash and Zac Callaghan. It explores the universalities, opportunities and challenges of change through both dementia and gender transitioning. The play was commissioned by Australian Plays Transform and Pride Foundation Australia in 2022 and received a GreenHouse residency with Hothouse Theatre in Albury Wodonga in 2023.

Wanderings is rich with autobiographical experience: Callaghan is a trans-masculine, non-binary queer person supporting their parents, particularly their mother who is living with dementia.

“We wrote a play that fosters understanding and empathy, champions kindness and kinship and shows a broad spectrum of heartbreaking and heart opening experiences,” says Callaghan. “Portraying a positive, trans-masculine character who isn’t bashed or killed and whose own experience of transitioning enables them to support their Mum is a welcome change.”

“We are so excited about the DOOR 3 initiative,” says Zoë Houghton. “It represents a unique and incredibly valuable opportunity for our local, independent artists to develop their brave, genre busting, rule breaking and often undervalued work in a hothouse professional environment with tangible and practical support, with everything from a rehearsal space to marketing to opening night champagne. In a pre-DOOR 3 world this might have taken years to achieve.”

“Independent theatre is not just a place we start from, it’s a place that we return to, it’s a home,” says Daniel Evans, Associate Artistic Director of Queensland Theatre. “Independent theatre has always been alive and furiously and fabulously kicking in this city, and it is because the makers have kept it alive. It is because of that energy that DOOR 3 was conceived.”

Tickets for The Norman Mailer Anecdote went on sale to coincide with the DOOR 3 launch, and as promised, they are subsidised and affordable at $35 each.

The 2024 DOOR 3 season:

The Norman Mailer Anecdote
3rd-18th May
Tickets: https://queenslandtheatre.com.au/plays/the-norman-mailer-anecdote

Scenes From a Yellow Peril
9th-24th August

30th August – 14th September

For more information, visit:

Main photo: Door 3 Artists – Julian Curtis, Anthony Mulllins (standing), Margi Brown Ash, Jazz Zhao, Egan Sun-Bin (standing), Zac Callaghan, Alyson Joyce, Zoë Houghton, Chelsea August.