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‘Compelling and must-see theatre' - Melbourne Observer.

An award-winning solo show exploring forbidden love in 1960s Australia, laced with the words of Shakespeare.


125 Gipps Street, Bega

Friday 27 August & Saturday 28 August

7:30pm (60 minutes)

A University Office, 1962: homosexuality is illegal.

Junior lecturer, William O’Halloran,

has been dismissed from his probationary position.

His secret is out.

As he packs up his beloved belongings,

William recalls the defining decisions

that have lead him to this moment.

But time is ticking away.

His wife Lola is due to arrive any minute.

And the curtain is soon to rise

on the student union production of Romeo and Juliet.

Shakespeare’s tale of star-crossed lovers isn’t the only

forbidden love story on campus.

And the leading man knows this all too well…

‘A masterful performance’ - Stage Whispers.

‘The Will To Be’ is an exploration of Australia’s queer history, societal shame, and a defiant cry to speak truth to power.

Content Warning: sexual references, not suitable for persons under 15 years of age.


Photo by Sare Clarke Photography

Written, Produced and Performed by Mark Salvestro

Co-Presented by Theatre Onset

Sound Design by Steve Carnell

Set Design by Carmody Nicol

Costume Design by Oliver Ross

Photography by Sare Clarke & Darren Gill


Adelaide Theatre Guide -


The Barefoot Review -


- The Advertiser -

*Best Theatre*


‘Beautifully crafted…exceptionally performed’ - Weekend Notes.

COVID -19 Update

Mark Salvestro, Theatre Onset and Art Month Sapphire Coast will continue in line with NSW Health advice for regional NSW. Physical distancing, mask requirements and sign-in will be required at the venue on the day. Should the event be cancelled or rescheduled due to COVID-19 restrictions, all ticket-holders will be contacted and entitled to a refund.

Special thanks to Art Month Sapphire Coast, Bega Valley Shire Council, South East Arts, Bega Valley Regional Gallery, Bendigo Bank, Theatre Onset, National Bushfire Recovery Agency, James Hanna, Phil Evans and the Howard Fine Acting Studio Australia, acting coaches Sarah Hallam, Phoebe Anne Taylor (and Graphic Designer!), Emma Louise Pursey and Danielle Cresp, dramaturgy consultant Mark Pritchard, promo trailer team: William Lee, Scott Pope, Harrison Byrne and Andy Berry-Brown, La Mama Theatre, Midsumma Festival, Melbourne Fringe, Adelaide Fringe and Anne and Robbie Salvestro.

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