fbpx Breaking the Binary: A Symposium on Building Trans* / Gender-Non-Conforming / Non-Binary Inclusive Theatre | HowlRound Theatre Commons

Livestreamed on this page 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. 

Berkeley, CA, United States
Monday 16 May 2016

Add to Calendar

Breaking the Binary: A Symposium on Building Trans* / Gender-Non-Conforming / Non-Binary Inclusive Theatre

Monday 16 May 2016




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. 

Follow the conversation on social media via the hashtag #breakingthebinary2016 and follow @howlroundtv.

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. 

In-person Event Invitation

“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 the nonprofit HowlRound. HowlRound TV is a free and shared resource for live conversations and performances relevant to the world's performing arts and cultural fields. Its mission is to break geographic isolation, promote resource sharing, and to develop our knowledge commons collectively. Participate in a community of peer organizations revolutionizing the flow of information, knowledge, and access in our field by becoming a producer and co-producing with us. Learn more by going to our participate page. For any other queries, email [email protected], or call Vijay Mathew at +1 917.686.3185 Signal/WhatsApp. View the video archive of past events.

Bookmark this page

Log in to add a bookmark

Find all of our upcoming events here.

Upcoming Events


Add Comment

The article is just the start of the conversation—we want to know what you think about this subject, too! HowlRound is a space for knowledge-sharing, and we welcome spirited, thoughtful, and on-topic dialogue. Find our full comments policy here

Newest First

The large sheets and the whiteboard aren't coming through legibly in the video. I wonder whether you might post them separately as hi-res images.