On March 28, six trans young people will share their experiences in TransVersing at the Barbara Barrett Theatre. The show features readings that integrate slam poetry, Shakespeare, traditional fiddle music, and soapbox rants. The show is a co-production by For The Love of Learning (FTLOL), an arts-based charity for helping youth, and the theatre company Artistic Fraud.
Gemma Hickey is the executive director of FTLOL, and it was their own experiences coming out as trans, plus their activist background, which gave them the idea for the show. FTLOL focuses on helping people aged 15-30 with their self-esteem and employability. Through theatre, these youth have had the opportunity to share their stories, but they also get credit for their work experience in the arts on their resumes.
Hickey produced a similar project a few years ago, The Queer Monologues, which toured and has since been published as a resource for schools. Hickey says that they hope to do the same with TransVersing in order to reach as many people as possible.
“It’s a fantastic show that people can relate to, because, you know what? We’re all human, Hickey said. “That’s where we can all meet in the middle, outside the [gender] binary.”
Fionn Shea, an English major at MUN and one of the writers/actors in the production, echoes Gemma’s sentiments. He hopes that after seeing the show, people leave with a better understanding of his, and other trans people’s lives.
“We are part of your community, as trans people, and you are part of ours,” Fionn explained. “As much as people try to separate [cis-gendered and trans people], that’s not possible.
“I hope people will take away the sense we are all legitimate, and we all have to stick together.”
TransVersing is on stage at the Barbara Barrett Theatre on Tuesday, March 28 at 8 pm.