Theatre to feature work of local playwright

Joanna Pearce played Stephanie in a developmental version of Testostrogen at the Mahurangi East Library last year.

Sandspit playwright Joanna Pearce will have two of her one-act plays performed at Pitt Street Theatre in Auckland next month.

The plays are Testostrogen and Never Say Never, developmental versions of which have already played to audiences in Mahurangi.

Testostrogen tells the story of a man dealing with a powerful inclination to dress in women’s clothes and then making the decision to switch genders completely. The play partially mirrors Joanna’s own gender transition journey.

An early version of the play was performed as a one-person show at the Mahurangi East Library in August last year.

The play is now a two-hander and has been expanded to 45 minutes. Joanna plays Steve, who becomes Stephanie, and actor Narelle Jackson takes two roles – Steve’s partner and boss.

Never Say Never will act as a curtain-raiser for Testostrogen and tells the story of two women – Ruby and Gladys – living in wartime London. Their husbands are both away fighting the war.  

The show first appeared as a brief sketch, Keeping the Home Fires Burning, in a Warkworth Theatre Group variety show last year, which commemorated those who fought in both World Wars.

The play has been expanded to 35 minutes and now deals with the complications that ensue when the women become the best of friends, and one of their husbands is killed and the other returns home.

Ruby is played by Sally Brady and Gladys By Collette Wilson.

Joanna has written about half a dozen plays in the past and is currently working on a musical, Scream, but this will be her first semi-professional production.   

Theatre professionals will be invited along to a special performance of the shows on September 26, along with the public. This performance will include five songs from Scream.

“It’s pretty exciting, three of my pieces will be shown to industry professionals as well as to the public, so I’m really putting my balls on the line,” Joanna says.

Testostrogen and Never Say Never will run from September 20 to 28. Tickets, iticket.co.nz


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