Nonbinary Theater: The Art of Gender Flexibility

It’s interesting that within our dominant social frame there are two kinds of people in this world: men and women. That seems reductive, doesn’t it? It’s like saying there are only two kinds of food: meat and bread. What about pineapple, am I right? I believe that theater offers us the tools we need to stretch outside of our habitual patterns and towards freedom, towards pineapple.

My name is Morgan, I am the new Operations Assistant at CoHo Productions. I got my Bachelors from Lewis & Clark in Theater and Anthropology and am interested in art as a form of socio-political expression and agency. I have a background in improv, clown, and devised theater. I dabble in set design and prop-making, and am gearing up to pursue my Masters in Performance Studies. On top of all these niche proclivities, I consider my non-binary identity to be intimately connected to my identity as an artist.

In college, I studied how to harness improvisational theater to challenge my prescribed womanhood. In the radical realm of the ridiculous, I was free to try on different walks, talks, stalks, and balks until I shook loose of my weighty womanness. At the same time, I saw people around me use improv to slide comfortably into their very own version of womanness. All the while, others were mixing womanhood and manhood together like blue and yellow to make green. It became so clear to me that there are simply too many unique humans in the world to fit them all authentically into meat and bread boxes. I didn’t have to be a woman if it didn’t feel right, I could be creative.

Theater absolutely necessitates the exploration of how I perform myself. If I can hop into another personhood for opening night and then back into my own skin for the after-party, then I’m simply more complicated than the gender binary would have me believe. I am ready to queer theater in the right* direction. I want to use it to challenge the allocation of identities, and with it, the allocation of power. I believe that art can help us create autonomous systems of self-fulfillment, and I am fortunate to work alongside the powerful people at CoHo to do just that.

*I acknowledge that “right” and “wrong” is a binary construct and may seem hypocritical here. But the word play is so strong that I had to keep it.

Don’t Stop Here

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