PHS joined Exposed Brick Theatre to create the new play based on the stories, experiences, and perspectives of transgender and gender non-conforming youth. Nearly 180 people attended the premiere performance of Trans/formation: Addressing Gender Issues in School at the Pillsbury House Theatre. After the production, the audience enjoyed a lively discussion with the cast, writers, and director about the themes of the play and their experience working on the project.
The aims of the project are to validate transgender and gender non-conforming youth experiences through performance, to educate peers, parents, families, friends, and educators about the experiences of transgender and gender non-conforming youth, and to encourage dialogues around gender issues, advocacy, and ally support for adolescents.
The performance on May 4, 2012, was the first step in a larger process. The next steps will be for the playwrights Anton Jones, Suzy Messerole, and Aamera Siddiqui to make final edits to the script and for PHS psychologists Katie Spencer, PhD, and Dianne Berg, PhD, to finalize the educational materials on the themes of the play. The play script and educational materials will then be made available for high school groups to download and perform at their schools, amplifying the impact of this project.
PHS and Exposed Brick would like to thank Stacey Mills and Sam Heins for their donation that made this project possible. We would also like to thank all of the people that helped to create this piece including the youth we interviewed, the advisory board whose thoughtful and creative feedback lifted the play to a whole new level, the youth who read the early drafts and whose honest feedback led us in the right direction. The youth performers are outstanding and their commitment to the piece has been amazing.
PHOTO: credit David Hannigan