Queer Stages: My Fair Lady (and Femme/Non-Binary/Trans/Gender-Nonconforming)
Author: Theodore Pavlich
April 13, 2019
Look, Nanette was everything to my little transmasc soul so let me tell you I just woke up my dog with my gasp of excitement when I read this headline: “Hannah Gadsby to Return to NYC With Brand-New Solo Show”.
I needed to get that out first. Now, on to the roundup! This edition of Queer Stages is all about femmes, women, TGNC and non-binary theatre and theatre artists including Laura Jane Grace, Our Lady J, The Kilroys, and lesbian bars.
Last Call, a multiracial collective of queer artists, activists, and archivists based out of New Orleans has been working for several years to compile an oral history archive of the nearly-extinct dyke bars in Louisiana and Massachusetts. Along side The Theatre Offensive, Last Call is brought these stories to the stage in Boston during the first week of April. Alleged Lesbian Activities is “power-ballad eulogy for lost queer spaces and a rallying cry against erasure” .
The Musical Theater Factory honored Transgender Day of Visiblity this year with a IN(Visibility), a concert performed solely by trans and GNC people to celebrate the lives and work of trans people worldwide. The one night only performance featured performers Ianne Fields Stewart, L Morgan Lee, Samy Nour Younes, and Maybe Burke performing work by trans artists including Éamon Boylan, Laura Jane Grace, Our Lady J, Orion Johnstone, Mika Kauffman, and William Shishmanian.
In 2017, executive director of the Billie Holiday Theatre Dr. Indira Etwaroo noted that the theatre needed to word harder at amplifying the voices of black women. “Somehow, in all those movements, the voices of black women were fairly invisible… And that is not only an issue but a travesty, because black women are the very fiber and fabric of what it means to be American,” she said. This led to the creation of 50in50. Read about what has happened since the inception here.
“It feels from my spirit that I am just fed up. I don’t care what people are ready for. I think about what black people need.” Read more about how Aleshea Harris and other young black playwrights are approaching race and privilege on the stage here.
Nawat Two-Spirit playwright Xemiyulu Manibusan Tapepechul is performing
Siwayul (Heart of a Womxn) in DC (also unceded Piscataway land, as producing organization Nelwat Ishkamewe notes in the event description). Performed by the playwright, this “one-Femme’ show is adapted from a book of Tapepechul’s poems. Read a great, descriptive review of the piece here.
Do you know The Kilroys? This awesome list documents new plays by women and transgender playwrights and tracks playwright parity in US theatres. WHYY reported on the impact the undertaking has had, featuring playwrights MJ Kaufman and Whiting Award winner Lauren Yee.
On the other side of the pond, They, Them, We, Us: A Queerstory opened in London. The devised piece is the result of testimony from and collaboration with LGBTQ+ activists and performers whose careers have spanned the past 50 years.
A few more links of recommended reading:
- Check out this list of 30 awesome female playwrights from Theatre Nerds.
- Dillon Yruegas collected six HowlRound pieces for his list “on intersections: queer & trans & latinx & creator”
- Speaking of HowlRound, check out this round-up by Ann Elizabeth Armstrong called “The Politics and Ethics of Representation in Theatre”.