Charles O'Grady

Playwright, poet, journalist, ghost of theatre future

About Charles

headshot-main-editedCharles O’Grady is a 22 year old Sydney-based playwright, director, poet, and journalist, and a passionate queer activist. Charles’ focus is on representation of trans and gender-non-conforming identities in stage and screen, and engaging in work that challenges conventional representation of queerness and normalises intersectional queer experiences.

Charles’ full length works include Kaleidoscope and Telescopeboth produced by independent company Montague Basement, and Before the Water Gets Cold, produced by Smoking Gum Theatre. In late 2016 Charles took part in ATYP’s National Studio for emerging writers at Bundanon Trust, and his writing was included in the 2017 production of Intersection at ATYP. In 2017 his short work Are We Awake?, about the relationship between queerness and disability, was staged by Red Line Productions as part of the 2017 New Fitz Program. Charles was assistant director for The Homosexuals, or ‘Faggots’ with Griffin and Malthouse Theatre and is currently working with students at the Australian Institute of the Performing Arts (AIPA) on a play about trans youth.

He has written or devised several theatrical works, including Dinner and a Show (SUDS 2014, with Nicola Cayless), and House Party (SUDS 2015, Festival of Australian Student Theatre 2015, with Nicola Cayless). He has co-devised or written for works including Little Eggs (Little Eggs Collective 2015), Rosie, Ruth, & Susan (Smoking Gum 2015), and How.Dare. (Jetpack Theatre Collective 2016). Charles has also provided dramaturgical support on numerous shows, including Clare Hennessey’s Transience (2016), Montague Basement’s The Big Bruise (2016), and The Homosexuals, or ‘Faggots’ (2017).

Charles is a strong advocate for trans representation in the theatre industry and autonomous casting for trans roles. In late 2016 he formed a Facebook group for trans and gender non-conforming performance-based artists, in order to develop a community of emerging queer artists who can support and collaborate with each other. He is also an advocate for accessibility in theatre and making theatre spaces more than just wheelchair accessible, and a strong proponent for autonomous casting in disabled roles.

As a poet, Charles has performed in multiple places including Sydney’s CARAVAN SLAM, the Sydney University Dramatic Society, and Rose Bay Secondary College as part of educational seminars on performance poetry he ran. He has had writing published in ARNA, Sydney University’s Honi Soit, and Archer Magazine, among others, and has edited for the literary journals ARNA and Carillon.

In his spare time Charles watches horror films, collects bowties, and is step-father to one rude cat. He is available for dates always.

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