Breaking the Binary is a half-day symposium focused on building trans*/ gender-non-conforming/ non-binary inclusive theatre, co-presented by Berkeley Repertory Theatre and California Shakespeare Theater—livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network howlround.tv Monday 16 May at 3 p.m. PDT to 7:30 p.m. PDT (San Francisco) / 5 p.m. CDT to 9:30 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 6 p.m. EDT to 10:30 p.m. EDT (New York) / 22:00 GMT - 02:30 GMT.
The three-part event consists of a panel, a breakout session, and staged readings of clips from three trans* identified playwrights of color—Ty Defoe, Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko, and Ariel Zetina.
Breaking the Binary was conceived, organized, and will be hosted by Lisa Evans and SK Kerastas who recognize a strong need for education around this issue in our field—even amongst theatre professionals working from a social justice base. This past year alone there were multiple instances of well-intentioned theatres around the county receiving backlash from trans* communities for their handlings of productions with trans* material. Building on a national movement for equity in our work, SK and Lisa want to provide some holistic support to theatre organizations and artists making this kind of work.
The goals of Breaking the Binary are to:
- Provide context and dialogue on this issue from a cross-section of perspectives in our field.
- Provide resources and support for everyone in the room to make intentional trans* inclusive work.
- Showcase trans* identified theatre artists of color.
We are cultivating attendance from large and small bay area theatre organizations, independent artists, trans* identified theatre professionals, theatre administrators of all types, and theatre leaders. The event will livestream through HowlRound and be available for future viewing.
“The symposium is a direct response to a need for education around this identity issue in the theatre field on national and local levels,” says Lisa Evans, associate director of artistic engagement for Cal Shakes. “Part of this conversation about inclusivity involves acknowledging our local arts ecosystem here in the Bay Area where there’s a vibrant queer and trans arts community that has been largely separate from the regional theatre. As much as this is an opportunity for theatre organizations to gain skills and have conversations about practices to be more inclusive, it’s also an opportunity to highlight the work of local trans* artists. And to learn from some of the practices that are happening in these Bay Area communities.”
“This work around trans* inclusivity—the conversations, the support, the elevating of artists—sits within a larger context of equity work happening nationally in our field,” says SK Kerastas, Visting Artistic Associate for Berkeley Rep. “We are particularly excited about the livestream because of the open access it creates for this conversation and this information. We hope folks in other cities will be inspired by this work, take action, and build on this momentum.”
About HowlRound TV
HowlRound TV is a global, commons-based peer produced, open access livestreaming and video archive project stewarded by HowlRound, a knowledge commons by and for the theatre, arts, and cultural community. The channel is at howlround.tv and is a free and shared resource for live events and performances relevant to the world's live arts fields. Its mission is to break geographic isolation, promote resource sharing, and to develop our knowledge commons collectively. Follow and use hashtag #howlround in Twitter to participate in a community of peers revolutionizing the flow of information, knowledge, and access in our field. Our community uses the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0). You can become a producer and co-produce with us. Learn more by going to our participate page. For any other queries, contact @HowlRound on Twitter, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Vijay Mathew at +1 917.686.3185 Signal/WhatsApp. View the video archive of past events.