Women’s Center sponsors series of gender-bending plays

Beginning this Sept. 19, the TTU Women’s Center, in cooperation with Center Stage, will begin hosting artist-in-residence Peterson Toscano.  

Toscano, an openly gay Christian Quaker, creates and presents passionate performances based on his experiences and interviews he conducted with people in similar situations.  Having graduated from the Love in Action residential program, a Memphis-based organization with the goal of changing one’s sexual orientation, Toscano recently produced the documentary film, “This is What Love in Action Looks Like.”

Through the avenue of theater, Toscano hopes to shed light on the issues of the LGBT community, while connecting them to world at large.

“As all good theater does, his plays wrestle with the questions of what it means to be human,” said Mark Creter, theater professor at Tech.

On Monday, Toscano performs his first play of the week, “I Can See Sarah Palin from my Window! A Comedy about Cancer, Misogyny, and Hospitality” at 7 p.m. in the Backdoor Playhouse.  Overcoming partisan politics, Toscano brings to life a tale of racism, sexism, homophobia, foreign policy, and family values.

Following on Sept. 20 in Derryberry Auditorium at 7 p.m., Toscano presents “HoMoNoMo?!? Orientation, Sexism, & the Ex-Gay Movement,” in which he recalls 15 years of grappling with his homosexuality before penning, “Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House—How I Survived the Ex-Gay Movement.”

On Thursday, Toscano stages his final evening presentation, “Transfigurations – Transgressing Gender in the Bible.”  This one-person play looks into figures of the Bible that did not fit into gender norms.  Founded on systematic research, Toscano offers original material that has Bible scholars taking a fresh new look at ancient stories.

In addition to each of the performances, the TTU Women’s Center will host a coffee hour with Toscano daily from 10 to 11 a.m.  For more information, check the TTU Women’s Center website at http://www.tntech.edu/women.