University of Essex’s very own Noah Pantano will make his Essex debut with Standing on A Nail: A Queer Horror Story on February 23rd, 2023.
The play, intended to diversify horror productions, follows five gay men trapped in a bar with a paranormal creature, imprisoned within the bar’s storage locker.
The characters are in the dark as to exactly what this creature is as they navigate the night together, desperate to escape.
Ticket sales officially open in January, priced at 6 pounds for university students (when bought in advance).
According to the play’s director, Standing on A Nail: A Queer Horror Story is one of the first queer horror stories to be released; however, this isn’t Pantano’s first work.
With roughly 7 years of writing experience, the director graduated from the university with an MA in scriptwriting and is currently a PhD student in theatre with a playwriting concentration.
He has been creating work since 2016 with his first play, Citizen, which he presented at the Florida International Thespian society.
Since then, Noah Pantano has gone on to write several other works, even receiving Critic’s Choice at the International Thespian Society for his 2017 display of The Assist.
His newest work Standing on A Nail, set to debut during LGBTQ+ history month, sits apart as it looks to fill a gap in horror productions.
As a queer author himself, Pantano noticed an absence of horror works starring LGBTQ+ characters. He set out to write this as an answer to that void, saying:
“The show is about queer empathy. It challenges audiences to reconsider why we fear what we fear. It amplifies the fears and anxieties that still plague and haunt my generation. It is a terrifying show, but it has a bleeding heart of empathy underneath.”
When asked about the intended audience for this piece, the director shared he writes for queer people who have been locked out of the theatre.
It is intended to represent queer horror that does not “demonize or self-loathe” and to challenge straight audiences to adjust their perspectives.
If you or anyone you know is interested in supporting this play or being involved in the behind-the-scenes or technical work, please contact email@example.com or get in touch via the Instagram page @soanqueerhorror.
The play is also accepting donations to aid in the production costs.
There are even rewards such as signed script copies, free tickets, thank you messages, and more.