At PICA we recognise that we are situated within the unceded lands of the Whadjuk people of the Noongar Nation. We pay our respects and offer our gratitude to Elders past and present, and to those emerging leaders in the community. We acknowledge all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the importance of their care and continued connection to culture, community and Country.

Always was, always will be.

Our galleries are open today 10am–3pm. Our exhibitions are always free.

Joel Bray

Homo Pentecostus 

Homo Pentecostus 

‘Carefully, gently, with a mix of irresistible humour and breathtaking, desolating honesty, he brings his audience with him.– Alison Croggon

Join an odyssey of self-discovery and liberation. Actor, dancer and writer Joel Bray invites you to an intimate exploration of his secret queer identity within the confines of a 1990s Pentecostal Church. Partake in a shared ritual that immerses you in the transformative power of music, movement and collective ritual.

Pentecostalism is Australia’s fastest-growing religion and Joel will lead you through an insider’s perspective on the intersection of faith and sexuality. From the humble church hall to the vibrant disco dance floor, Homo Pentecostus peels back layers of conflicting allure and hidden shame to illuminate our quest to embrace our true selves.

Written, directed and performed by Joel Bray, co-directed with Emma Valente and performed with Peter Paltos, Homo Pentecostus is an ecstatic testament to resilience, love and the pursuit of personal truth.

Duration: 75 minutes, no interval
Content Warning: Language, nudity and adult themes.

About the Artists

Joel Bray lives on Kulin country (Melbourne) and is a proud Wiradjuri man. Bray’s practice includes making dance, experimental performance and works for screen. His methodology is rooted in traditional Wiradjuri ways of making, namely durational, site-specific and cross-genre processes. His works are intimate encounters in which audience-members are ‘invited in’ as co-storytellers and co-performers. Bray trained at NAISDA and Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). His works Biladurang, Dharawungara, Daddy Considerable Sexual License, Garabari and Giraru Galing Ganhagirri  – have toured to major arts festivals in Australia and overseas. Joel has made works for Artshouse, CHUNKY MOVE, Malthouse Theatre, Sydney Dance Company, the National Gallery of Australia and the National Gallery of Victoria. 

Emma Valente is the Co-Artistic Director and Co-CEO of feminist theatre company THE RABBLE. She is also a freelance Director Lighting Designer, Dramaturg and video designer. As a lighting and video designer, Emma has worked for major theatre companies including Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Queensland Theatre, Malthouse Theatre, Fraught Outfit, Sisters Grimm, Belvoir, La Mama and many more. She is an advocate for gender parity for lighting and sound designers across the sector. Emma also teaches dramaturgy, performance making and design at Monash University. She is a Sidney Myer Fellow, and the recipient of Creative Victoria’s Creators Fund initiative. 

Peter Paltos is a Naarm-based actor and contributing artist to the development of new works. He is represented by BGM. Theatre credits include: Shhhh (Red Stitch Theatre); 8/8/8: WORK (Rising Festival); Home, I’m Darling (Melbourne Theatre Company); Gloria (Melbourne Theatre Company); Minnie & Liraz (Melbourne Theatre Company); Lord Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise (Melbourne Theatre Company NEON); The Sovereign Wife (Melbourne Theatre Company NEON); Calpurnia Descending (Sydney Theatre Company & Malthouse Theatre); Salomé (Malthouse HELIUM); The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (TheatreWorks); The Audition (Outer Urban Projects); Merciless Gods (Griffin Theatre); The Economist (Brisbane Powerhouse & Edinburgh Fringe Festival). Film/television includes The Taverna (Rescued Films); Paper Champions (Saliba Pictures/Exile Entertainment); Rebooted (Latenite Films); Holding the Man (Screen Australia); Fake (Paramount+). Paltos is a Greenroom award nominee (Best Supporting Actor – MainStage 2019) and winner (Best Ensemble – Contemporary & Experimental Performance 2023; Best Ensemble – Independent Theatre 2014).

Kate Davis is an award-winning multi-disciplinary artist working as a director, set & exhibition designer, costume designer, visual artist and floral designer. Kate’s passion as an artist is in the creation and interrogation of image and how an image can completely transform the viewer’s perception, and by extension the viewer’s attitudes and ways of seeing the world. She is also the Co-Artistic Director and Co-CEO of the experimental performance collective THE RABBLE. She also experiments with flowers under the name of Neo Violet.

Marco Cher-Gibbard is an artist working with sound.  His practice often incorporates software design and live process, which can be seen in his practice as an improviser and in his involvement within performance contexts.  He is a diverse and constant collaborator working across a spectrum of projects (performance, installation, composition, improvisation, community and design) who explores the world, context and social relations through the medium of sound.   

Cher-Gibbard has performed across Australia and internationally including France, Japan, Indonesia, Korea and Taiwan.  2016 sound designs included Back to Back Theatre’s Lady Eats Apple as part of the Melbourne Festival 2016 and Shian Law’s Epic Theatre, for Sydney Dance Company.  Other recent achievements include a greenroom award for composition and sound design with David Chisholm for I am a Miracle (Malthouse Theatre), and sound designs for Chunky Move, Ridiculusmus, Zoe Scoglio and Samara Hersch. 

Katie Sfetkidis is an award-winning lighting designer, and contemporary artist,  who works across theatre, dance and experimental performance. Katie has designed for: Little Ones Theatre (Merciless Gods; The Happy Prince; Dracula; Dangerous  Liaisons; Salomé; Psycho Beach Party); Aphids (The Director; A Singular Phenomenon);  Melbourne Theatre Company (Abigail’s Party); Malthouse Theatre (Meme Girls; Calpurnia  Descending); Belvoir Theatre (Kill the Messenger); La Boite (Lysa and the Freeborn  Dames); Darlinghurst Theatre (An Act of God); Sydney Chamber Opera (Oh Mensch; Exil).  

Sfetkidis has also worked with Noongar man Ian Michael on his award-winning show HART, which toured extensively around Australia and New Zealand as well as with Steven Rhall on his solo show titled DEFUNCTIONALISED AUTONOMOUS OBJECTS at the Substation in  2018. 

Veronica Bolzon is the Executive Producer at Joel Bray Dance. Her career spans arts leadership, community engagement and programming roles in a broad range of organisations within the independent arts, government, corporate and not-for-profit sectors. Recent roles include Program Producer at Dancehouse, Executive Producer of YIRRAMBOI First Nations Arts Festival, Executive Director, Philip Adams Ballet Lab and Senior Producer for Blak & Bright First Nations Literary Festival 2019 and 2022. Bolzon is a board member of Dancehouse, Melbourne. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts, Cultural Leadership. 

Writer/Director/Performer: Joel Bray
Co-Director and Dramaturge: Emma Valenta
Performer: Peter Paltos
Set and Costume Designer: Kate Davis
Lighting Designer: Katie Sfetkidis
Sound Composition: Marco Cher Gibard
Producer: Veronica Bolzon



Supported by PICA’s Director’s Circle.

Homo Pentecostus is commissioned by PICA and Malthouse and supported by Creative Victoria through the Creative Ventures Fund and Creative Australia.