Activism does not come out of a vacuum, and it does not have to be humorless either. Usually the activist has a journey of self-discovery, liberation, and revelation. For Peterson Toscano that meant overcoming his own irrational fears about being gay and a person of faith. He spent 17 years and over $30,000 on three continents foolishly trying to find a cure for being gay. He finally came to his senses and came out of the closet. But he discovered an LGBTQ community that accepted him with certain conditions. The very same pecking order of power and privilege he experienced in the anti-gay church world was replicated in LGBTQ circles. That’s when Peterson’s craft as a storyteller, character actor, and comic turned to activism.
Spend an evening with Peterson as he unfolds his journey and shares excerpts from his hilarious and deeply moving one-person plays. Peterson is the host of Climate Stew, the podcast that takes a serious look at global warming but doesn’t try to scare the snot of you. He is also a Bible scholar and an expert in unearthing gender outlaws in the Bible. His newest play is called Does This Apocalypse Make Me Look Fat?
Quirky Queer Quaker — An Exploration of Identity, Art, and Activism
Sunday – December 06, 2015 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Westtown School — Barton Test Theater
975 Westtown Road
West Chester, PA 19382
free & open to the public
Who is Peterson Toscano? Have a listen to this public radio feature on him and his work
Testimonials for Peterson’s performance work
I saw Peterson performed a new play called "Does this Apocalypse Make Me Look Fat?" at Creating Change that really touches on the intersections of body image, body positivity, bodily shame, and the ways in which climate change and marginalization disproportionately impacts some bodies more than others. It is one of the most powerful performances I have experienced and for me really spoke to shame, trauma, and healing through vulnerability and community.
Toscano's excellent theater chops morph characters and identities in that world-changing way only performance allows. His writing and philosophy educate and loosen the tightest knots of queer and religious entanglements. But it's his heart, which his engaging presence radiates, that will pull you in, warm you up, and leave you pleading for an encore.
Peterson came to the twin cities and led the interfaith community in a dynamic and engaging theatrical and comedic evening. The subject of climate change can be overwhelming. Through Peterson's gifted lead we found ourselves laughing together and imagining what's possible.
What a powerful, hilarious, important work about broken bodies large and small, human resourcefulness in the face of dire situations, hope, vulnerability, and SO MUCHMORE! I would recommend this play with the highest recommendation possible.
Alternately witty, pithy, funny, and poignant, Does This Apocalypse Make Me Look Fat? is a one person, multi-character comic meditation about broken bodies and the complicated relationship we have with them.