To kick off the National Institute of Dramatic Art’s (NIDA) 60th Anniversary In Conversation series, comedian Tom Ballard will host a panel discussion looking at LGBTIQ+ depictions in film, theatre, and television.

The discussion – Love is Love – will feature Sydney Theatre Company Artistic Director Kip Williams, award-winning performance artist Harriet Gillies, Queer Screen Director Leah Pellinkhof and up-and-coming theatre-maker Chris Edwards.

It will explore the impact of LGBTIQ+ representation on the lived experience and national consciousness, including controversies such as straight actors playing gay and lesbian roles, and whether gender fluid roles are being written and viewed differently.

The panel discussion and In Conversation series form part of NIDA’s 60th anniversary celebrations. For almost half of NIDA’s 60 years, homosexual activity was illegal, persecuted, and discriminated against at all levels of law and society in Australia.

This had a major impact on how LGBTIQ+ stories were told on stage and screen – if at all.

In 2019, those dark times seem well behind us as a cohort of NIDA students are busy fundraising and preparing for NIDA’s inaugural participation in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade, an initiative spearheaded by the students themselves.

In Conversation: Love is Love will be held on Thursday 14 February from 6.30pm at NIDA Theatres, Parade Theatre.

For more information or to buy tickets visit:

Star Observer has five double passes to NIDA’s Love is Love event. For your chance to win one, head to our Facebook post and tag a friend you would take along in the comments.

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