Ordinary pain

Hart, Phoebe (2016) Ordinary pain. [Film/Video]

Symposium program (PDF 1MB)
Supplemental Material.


The creative work - an hour-long television pilot "dramedy" screenplay entitled Ordinary Pain - seeks to reposition characters with an intersex variation as 'an everyday social type'.

Getting divorced is awful for anyone. But if you’re an intersex woman who was told as a young girl you’ll never have kids, probably can’t have sex and won’t ever get a boyfriend, the loss is all the more painful. And picking up the pieces to try and find love again, all the more tricky.

Ordinary Pain is the story of Zoe, a hermaphrodite and creative type based in the bohemian suburbs of the Brisbane postcode of 4101. She is a rare blend of both male and female, and, and is overcoming traumatic experiences of growing up.

More than anything Zoe craves unconditional love, a relationship and a ‘normal’ life. Early on she meets kooky Chris (a recently separated journalist), with whom there is clearly a spark.

When her faltering marriage to the over-baring Stuart implodes, Zoe is ejected from the family home with her adopted child and moves in with Zoe’s outrageous, world-weary sister, Heidi, who is also intersex.

Encouraged by her sexually permissive friend Ruby, Zoe considers the world of online dating, and meets the hopelessly unobtainable Jon. Chris, having survived his own trauma, understands Zoe and begins to woo her subtly. Zoe must make a decision that is best for her. To do that, she’s going to need to look deep into her past.

This subject could be perceived as unwieldy and sad. But rather than being a drudge, Ordinary Pain is engaging, inspiring and funny. The core character of Zoe is an extraordinary one, trying to live in the ordinary world with the courage to overcome shame and adversity.

This story is unique as it compellingly explores family, gender, sexuality and place for savvy audiences in a way never-before-seen on Australian television.

The writer has a personal and professional background in these subject realms, having created the landmark documentary Orchids: My Intersex Adventure and heard the stories of many individuals who fall into the category of ‘other’.

The screenplay was presented and performed at Scriptwriting as Research symposium hosted by the School of Arts & Communication, University of Southern Queensland on September 29, 2016 and will be published in a special issue of New Writing journal which will be published in October 2017 and a special issue of TEXT journal with a proposed publication date of April 2018.

Impact and interest:

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31 since deposited on 05 Oct 2016
31 in the past twelve months

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ID Code: 99706
Item Type: Creative Work (Film/Video)
Refereed: No
Material: Screenplay
Measurements or Duration: 1 hour
Number of Pieces: 1
Published Source: Scriptwriting as Research Symposium
Publisher: University of Southern Queensland
Location: From date: To date:
Toowoomba, QLD
Additional URLs:
Keywords: scriptwriting, screenplay, intersex, television
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA (190200) > Film and Television (190204)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Disciplines > Film & Television
Copyright Owner: Phoebe Hart 2016
Deposited On: 05 Oct 2016 22:14
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2016 06:19

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