In celebration of the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University’s production of Trans Scripts: Part I, The Women, the theatre has released an online video of some of the cast discussing the significance of the show and what it means to them. Paul Lucas’ groundbreaking new play about transgender identity began performances January 19 and is set to run through February 5 at the Loeb Drama Center.
Jo Bonney (Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3)) directs a cast of seven in the U.S. premiere.
“Finally we have our narratives being told in that light,” comments cast member MJ Rodriguez in the video. “There’s a vast variety of beautiful races onstage as well as different stories that are being told. I think it’s very important that our stories be heard.” Rodriguez was most recently seen Off-Broadway in Pia Scala-Zankel’s Street Children, a new play that also depicted trans narratives.
“When you look at this piece of theatre we’ve been working on for so long and how important it is going to be to share these stories, it’s tremendous,” adds fellow cast member Bianca Leigh. “To be working with A.R.T. is a joy. A lot of queer actors, certainly a lot of trans actors… a lot of the stuff we do is unconventional, alternative, ’downtown.’ To be able to work in a major regional theatre is profoundly moving.”
As previously reported, A.R.T. received a National Endowment for the Arts Art Works grant of $50,000 for its production of Trans Scripts: Part I, The Women. The show, which is drawn from candid interviews with dozens of transgender women from around the world, premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2015. Trans Scripts, Part I: The Women uses their actual words to shed light on their rich and diverse experiences.
“Paul is the ultimate ally,” says Rebecca Root in the video, speaking of playwright Lucas. “He is the facilitator of telling these stories. We’re not necessarily impersonating these ladies, we are creating a piece of theatre in order to reflect their lives.”
For further information on Trans Scripts, visit AmericanRepertoryTheater.org.