WHEN Tim Miller and Alistair McCartney leave the United States for Australia next month, it will be in the knowledge that one of them may not be able to return.
Miller, an American citizen, will have no trouble returning home.
But for McCartney, his Australian husband, leaving will risk his residency because Los Angeles, where the couple live, is yet to recognise gay marriage.
But the risk is not without reason.
The couple are coming to Australia for Miller to perform his one-man play, Glory Box, an exploration of marriage equality and the immigration hardships faced by gay people and their partners.
The hour-long show is a part of Miller's work with Monash University, where he will be a resident director.
Besides performing, he will work with students in workshops and classes.
Glory Box's producer Fred Wallace, of the Monash Academy of Performing Arts, says the show is about Miller's battle to have his spouse officially recognised. "If [Alistair] was recognised legally as Tim's partner, there would not be an issue," Wallace says.
"The show is a humorous but also, I think, quite emotional look at his identity as a gay man, his identity as having a lifetime partner in Alistair, and the issues that he's had around that acceptance in the law in America.
"It's him on stage, basically performing this sort of struggle that he's had and continues to have."
The timing of the play comes at a decisive time. In America, nine states and Washington DC have approved same-sex marriage.
In the United Kingdom, the House of Commons recently voted to legalise gay marriage. The bill will now have to pass the House of Lords.
Wallace says that at its core, Glory Box is about love. "Tim's point is that there has to be a recognition that love is equal and that gay people, whether they're men or women, have equal capacity for deep and committed, loving relationships that should be recognised in law.
"This is what Tim's performance is all about: it's about recognition of issues around love more than politics."
Wallace says Miller's performance will appeal to both gay and straight audiences. "This man is talking about gay pride, this man is talking about gay relationships, but actually at a fundamental level, he's talking about love."
Glory Box will play at the Alexander Theatre, Monash University, at 7.30pm on Friday, March 22. Tickets: $10-$15. Details: monash.edu/mapa or Natasha Bassett, 9905 1788.