A Golden Age of Storytelling
We live in a golden age of storytelling. With podcasts like The Moth and This American Life and slam poets like J Mase III weaving art with autobiography, we have so many examples of good storytelling.
Of course the performance memoir has been a feature of American alternative theater spaces and even mainstream theaters since the 1980’s. Queer performance artists in the USA have a long history and lineage.
A new queer voice and body in performance
So I was thrilled to hear about JamieAnn Meyers new show, First Person: A Life in Transition. It will run May 13-15 as part of 20% Theater Twin Cities Stage series of emerging artists. In an interview JamieAnn talks about her identity as a “trans elder” and the ever evolving aspect of her identities.
What aspects of your queer identity do you hope to express through your Q-STAGE piece?
The primary aspect of my queer identity that I want to emerge is that it has evolved over the entirety of my lifetime and this evolution is ongoing. I’m what many would call a “trans elder.” I came out in my late 50’s and am now 70 years old. People often ask me “when did you transition?” My answer is “from when I was a fetus, until long after my death.” (Peoples’ memories of my life will evolve after my death as their own personal and societal contexts evolve.)
It’s been a lifetime of discovery, of peeling back the many layers of my identity and expression, and discovering the seeds that have grown into who I am today. When I first uncovered my childhood feelings of gender difference in middle age, I realized that I was part of the transfeminine spectrum; I later identified myself in therapy as bi-gender. When I began my social transition, I identified in the binary as female. My recent gender confirmation surgery has finally liberated me and enabled me to come out as fluid. I’ve also been enabled to claim my orientation as bisexual. And the journey continues. What identity will I claim in another five years? I don’t know.
Twin Cities and Beyond!
JamieAnn hopes to take this show on the road. I hope she does because after having met her last year and experiencing her presence, her enthusiasm, and her artistic vision, I felt immediately that she has both the skill and the drive to create a show that tell stories that will not only educate the public but help up better understand ourselves and the world around us.
Embodying Our Stories
What I am most excited about is how she embodies her stories. For many of us queer people, our bodies have been the scene of trauma and battle. She is someone rooted in her body and skilled to use it as she tells her stories.
If you live near the Twin Cities, I urge you to check out JamieAnn Meyers’ show
FIRST PERSON: A LIFE IN TRANSITION
Created by & starring JamieAnn Meyers
Directed by Shalee Coleman
Also featuring Zealot Hamm, Erica Fields, Beckett Love, Suzi Love & Pearl Noonan
Each of us has a different story, and “FIRST PERSON” is one transwoman’s unvarnished truth. It’s the story of her life-long transition, a life that’s being lived “halfway up, halfway down,” in-between, and her claiming CHANGE as her identity.
WARNING: Adult language & content, nudity
SET “B” ft. A.P. Looze & Gender Tender
May 20 at 730pm – opening night party
May 21 at 730pm – post-show discussion
May 22 at 2pm
Also check out what else is playing
Directed & Choreographed by Syniva Whitney
Featuring Will Courtney & Syniva Whitney (aka Gender Tender)
Installation Art by Madeleine Bailey, Music by Ariskany Records
Two non-binary bodies in queer love are willing to get into any position necessary to make it work. Dance and acting collide in this Gender Tender performance as Will Courtney and Syniva Whitney make a fictitious home for themselves in a world made up of black and white stripes, binary investigations, drag inspired relationship building and imaginary home renovation.
THE GRIEF EXPERIMENTS
Created & Performed by A.P. Looze
Also featuring Lisa Marie Brimmer
Directed by Zoe Michael
Grief is in the room. What do you do? You could avoid it. You could crack a joke about it. You could run away from it, pretend it’s not there, tune it out. You could sheepishly wave, or even greet it with a warm hug and say, Hello. Join A.P. Looze and their Most Honored Guests in a series of experiments that examine the limitless depths of grief and its ability to become your most intimate companion.
WARNING: Adult language & content
Q-STAGE is made possible through support from the California Institute for Contemporary Arts (CICA) LGBTQ funding program.