A new theatre piece premiering in Bendigo will look at family violence and anti-Muslim views in society.
Tripwire Theatre artistic director Megan Riedl began creating The Belly Dancer with Jacob Honeychurch in 2015.
"It was probably just after the anti-mosque protests. i was living in Bendigo at the time and wanted to respond in writing," she said.
"I had the idea for a story or play about that and, for a long time, had wanted to write something about domestic violence."
Funding from the Ulumbarra Foundation helped Tripwire Theatre bring the story to the stage.
"The script was about three-quarters finished. They saw the merit in it and were able to give us funding and get the ball rolling."
Ms Riedl said she hoped the play would make people more mindful about the need for education on topics before opinions are formed.
"The character of David shows he has made up his mind about things before finding facts or getting to know his Muslim neighbour," she said.
The theme of domestic violence is also present with Ms Riedl wanting to show how relationships can shift.
"What we have tried to do is be very subtle," she said. "We want to show how perpetrators of domestic violence are not always a monster of a person but often everyday people..
"It's so prevalent that it could be a neighbour or family member. The subtlety makes it dangerous. There is a subtle shift between what looks like a loving relationship to something driven by manipulation and control.
"Domestic violence isn't necessary physical, that's the pinnacle, there are other types of power and control."
Ms Riedl credited a strong three-person cast to bringing some complex themes to life.
"Elliott Gale has graduated from Federation University's Arts Academy and is a great asset," she said. "It's not always easy to play the bad guy and he is good at wrapping negativity in charm.
"It is hard not to like him even when you know he's quite a bad guy."
Benidgo's Saari Frochot-Chauhan and Iranian-born Melbourne actor Marjan Maleki also feature in the show.
"Marjan has had a passion for acting for a long time and brings her own personal experience to the role while Saari has been on Bendigo stages for a long time.
"(Director) Alise Amarant is doing an amazing job with some difficult content."
The Belly Dancer is on at the Engine Room in View Street from March 15 to 18.
On March 15, a public preview will be held at 2pm ahead of the official premier at 8pm.
It will also be performed on March 16 at 8pm and March 17 and 18 at 2pm. A Q&A session will be held after the March 18 performance.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.