Jonathan (Jonno) Graffam

Casual Tutor and Research Assistant, VCA

Cake Daddy: dramaturgies to ‘fatten’ the queer stage

My research examines the dramaturgical strategies used in making performance work about the fat- queer body. This inquiry is framed by my practice as dramaturg in the process of making Cake Daddy, an original work performed by fat and queer identifying artist Ross Anderson-Doherty. By analysing specific moments of the performance, I articulate how and why certain choices behind the composition were determined in the creative process. This is particularly relevant when framing the performer’s identity and examining the intersectionality of fat, queer, cis male and working class. In my research I draw on the fields of performance theory (dramaturgy), queer theory and fat studies, and I review performances by fat-identifying artists discussed in mainstream media, in online fat activist blogs and academic research. I move to assert the notion of ‘fat dramaturgies’: that is, methodologies and performance processes used to shape the structure and aesthetics of fat activist performance.

Key terms: fat studies; queer; performance; dramaturgy; activism.

Researcher Bio

Jonathan Graffam is a Melbourne-based dramaturg, performer and academic. He is a current MFA candidate at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) at the University of Melbourne. He previously completed the Master of Dramaturgy (VCA, 2016) and a Bachelor of Arts, Hons (Deakin University, 2006). His co-authored chapter with Dr Alyson Campbell titled ‘Blood, Shame, Resilience and Hope: Indigenous Theatre Maker Jacob Boehme’s Blood on the Dance Floor’ is featured in the volume Viral Dramaturgies: HIV and AIDS in Performance in the Twenty-First Century, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2018.
As a dramaturg and performer Jonathan is committed to the development of original Australian performance work. Recent credits include:
Cake Daddy (in development, dir. Alyson Campbell, Outburst Queers Arts); Featherstones (2018, devised collaboration, Asia Pacific Bond, Insitut Seni Indonesia Yogyakarta); AntigoneX (2018, performer, dir. Zachary Dunbar and Katy Maudlin, Theatreworks); Vagabonds (2017, dramaturg/producer, dir. Kellie Tori, La Mama); Cybec Electric (2017, intern, dir. Mark Zhuang Yi, Melbourne Theatre Company.

Contact Info and Links

ORCID number:  0000-0002-1139-1890