Peterson Toscano has shaken up Bible academics and received high praise for his ground-breaking, genre-bending, gender blending Bible scholarship. By unearthing the stories of gender-variant people in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, Toscano’s one-person play deepens well-known (and lesser-known) Bible stories and presents an array of Bible characters with an array of genders. A scene from this play appears in the Lambda Award Winning anthology, Gender Outlaws–The Next Generation (edited by Kate Bernstein and S. Bear Bergman)
A comic, a storyteller, and a queer human rights activist, Peterson Toscano performs in all sorts of venues–from churches and seminaries, to LGBTQ comedy clubs and theaters, to Quaker conferences and even the Humanist Society in London. Audiences appreciate the humanity he brings to his material, his depth of knowledge, and his amazing skills as an actor.
Transfigurations — Transgressing Gender in the Bible
Sunday, November 15, 2015 6:00 PM
First United Methodist Church
915 E Fourth Street
Tucson, AZ 85719
This even is made possible through by the following sponsors: Southern Arizona Gender Alliance (SAGA), The LGBTQ Affairs Office of the University of Arizona, The Institute for LGBT Studies at the University of Arizona, and First United Methodist Church.
Toscano brings a deep reverence for the Biblical text with him into his exploration of gender transgression. This play is mesmerizing and compels the viewer to see well known Bible stories in a brave new light.
It is an absolute must-see for all… I haven’t had my brain opened up and refilled so gracefully in a long, long time. My heart loved it too.
As a Jewish Studies scholar, educator, and activist for TBLG inclusion in Jewish communities, it was a thrill to see confident transgender characters from the Hebrew scriptures given flesh via the performance activism of Peterson Toscano –and, more importantly, to recognize through his performance that those characters fulfilled social roles in Jewish communities as gender variant folk. Bring Transfigurations to your shul and create an opportunity to dialogue about present-day transgender people in Jewish communities.
Peterson Toscano's work combines astute readings of the Bible with great story-telling and comedy. He offers interpretations of the texts and insights that even experienced biblical scholars haven't seen before. When portrayed by Toscano, Bible stories and characters come to life with wit, sympathy, and humor.
As a biblical scholar I'm always a bit skeptical about dramatic interpretations of biblical texts, whether they will truly capture the complexity of the originals; however, Peterson's performances bring to light dimensions of the texts that many, even those of us who spend hours with the text on the page, fail to see. By bringing the stories and characters to life we're able to see the human-ness of the biblical narratives in all its gore and glory.
Society of Biblical Literature/American Academy of Religion Conference 2012, Iliff Theological Seminary, Harvard Divinity School, Chicago Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt School of Divinity, University of Massachusetts Amherst, The True Colors Conference, 8th Annual Trans Week at Yale University (Slifka Center for Jewish Life), Pacific School of Religion, University of British Columbia, University of Puget Sound, Haverford College, Transgender Day of Remembrance 2008 (Seattle, WA), Bard College, Tennessee Tech University, Lambeth Conference 2008, Eastern Mennonite University, Trans Faith in Color Conference 2011 The European Forum of LGBT Christians, Ikon (Belfast, Northern Ireland), Gender Odyssey, Warehouse #8 St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity (Valletta, Malta) UT Chatanooga, Northeatern University, 2009 Unity Conference at University of NC Chapel Hill, 2009 CA Transgender Leadership Summit, William Penn House , Warren Wilson College, Creating Change Conference 2012, Wesley Theological Seminar.