Transgender Artists Embody Courage in Canadian Premiere of TRANS SCRIPTS, PART I: THE WOMEN
The Frank Theatre and Zee Zee Theatre, in association with Firehall Arts Centre, co-present the Canadian premiere of Trans Scripts, Part I: The Women from March 12-21, 2020, at Firehall Arts Centre. The brave and insightful work, sharing real-life stories of transgender women in their own words, is a meditation on the authentic experiences that make every individual unique, while underscoring the shared human spirit that connects us all. Performed by seven local transgender women, the play seamlessly weaves an inspirational tale of honesty, vulnerability, and vibrancy on the path to finding one's true self.
"In Canada, and Vancouver specifically, we as a society are grappling with the ongoing marginalization of transgender people in a very real way," says co-director Cameron Mackenzie, Artistic and Executive Director of Zee Zee Theatre. "From exclusionary bathroom policies across the country to the Vancouver Rape Relief centre's refusal to offer services to transgender women, it is clear that we need to be further exposed to the voices in this community. Trans people are 1.6 times more likely to experience physical violence against them; Trans Scripts is an opportunity to bear witness and be reminded that, no matter our differences, all humans deserve respect and dignity."
Co-director Fay Nass, Artistic Director of The Frank Theatre, adds: "We are all enriched by a diversity of cultures and narratives, and the more we allow ourselves to experience other perspectives through storytelling - especially the stories not often heard - the better we become as individuals and as a society."
Trans Scripts, Part I: The Women centres on seven diverse stories - a down-to-earth woman looking to blend in, a glamorous beauty queen, a former small-town mechanic, a formidable ex-dominatrix, a runaway turned activist, a hardened survivor of paternal abuse, and a sexagenarian doctor - as they navigate the intricate complexities and liberating joys of their transgender identities. This work of documentary theatre is "full of warmth and vulnerability" (The Herald) and grounds itself in moments of levity, anguish, strength, and resilience. The play unfolds from tales of early childhood insecurities to adulthood ruminations on sex, surgery, and suicide.
Written by American playwright Paul Lucas, the verbatim piece is compiled from interviews with more than 70 transgender women in six different countries. Trans Scripts, Part I: The Women premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2015 and went on to win the festival's prestigious Fringe First award and a High Commendation from Amnesty International for Freedom of Expression. The play premiered in the US in 2017 to wide acclaim at Harvard University's American Repertory Theater. It has since been presented throughout North America as staged readings during Transgender Awareness Week, including Zee Zee Theatre and The Frank Theatre's presentation in November 2018, benefitting Qmunity, BC's Queer Resource Centre.
The cast of the Vancouver premiere is comprised of seven extraordinary local transgender women: multidisciplinary East Vancouver artist Josie Boyce; mental health worker Carolynn Dimmer; writer, producer, and actor Amy Fox; 2-spirit trans recording artist and festival fixture Quanah Napoleon; activist and tech industry consultant Morgane Oger; illustrator, graphic novelist, and blogger Sabrina Symington; and YouTube star and Miss International Queen 2019 contestant Julie Vu.
Trans Scripts, Part I: The Women is co-directed by Jessie Award-nominee Mackenzie, who recently directed the company's world premieres of Dead People's Things and Holiday at the Elbow Room Café, and The Frank Theatre Artistic Director Nass, who recently directed She, Mami Wata & The Pussy WitchHunt at the PuSh Festival. The creative team includes set designer Jessica Keenan, lighting designer Keagan Elrick, costume designer CS Fergusson-Vaux, and sound designer Sara Vickruck.
About The Frank Theatre
The Frank's mission is to explore what it means to be queer, and the place of queer individuals in society, by creating, developing, producing and presenting theatrical work that places queer issues on a global canvas. These are works wherein issues of queer marginalization intersect with other types of marginalization: i.e. economic, racial, gender, political.
Founded in 2002, The Frank has since established itself as an important part of Vancouver's cultural ecology, producing over twenty mainstage shows, six years of the annual reading series Clean Sheets, 12 community-engaged events, 10 associate productions/presentations and one ongoing community outreach program (Telling It Bent). Most recently, the Frank won two Jessie Richardson Awards for its 2018 production of Camera Obscura at the Queer Arts Festival, and produced a sold-out run of She, Mami Wata & The Pussy WitchHunt by d'bi young anitafrika at the PuSh Festival.
About Zee Zee Theatre
Founded in 2008, for the past decade Zee Zee Theatre has shared small stories by amplifying the voices of those on the margins. Its name embodies that very notion, its namesake being founding Artistic Director Cameron Mackenzie's godmother, Zee. Though not a Rich Woman, Zee brought a generosity of spirit and heart that placed value in building community and giving voice to those who had none. Similarly the company explores intimate moments through which limitless humanity and depth of character can be revealed.
Through Signature Productions like Elbow Room Café: The Musical, Human Library, and My Funny Valentine, the company continues to drive unique and provocative conversations with diverse audiences on stages across Vancouver. It offers recognizable situations with poignancy and builds a connection with our surrounding community in order to inspire unity in the shared human experience.
The Frank Theatre and Zee Zee Theatre present
Trans Scripts, Part I: The Women
March 12-21, 2020
March 12 (Preview), 17, 18, 19 at 7:30pm
March 13 (Opening), 14, 20, 21 at 8pm
March 15 at 3pm
Child 12 and Under: $14
Under 30/Artist: $20
Regular Admission: $33
Firehall Arts Centre
280 East Cordova Street, Vancouver, BC