Evolve theater in Long Beach brings you an original play about current transgender issues. Choosing Us was inspired by the tragic suicide of transgender teenager Leelah Alcorn, just over a year ago. In her suicide letter, Leelah asked readers to “fix society. Please.” The development of this play was Evolve Theatre’s artistic response to Leelah’s heartfelt plea for action. Media events in 2015 increased the visibility of the Transgender community, but Transgender people remain 10 times more likely to commit suicide, and they account for 40% of all LGBT hate murders in the United States. Choosing Us explores the journey of someone in transition, and the ways in which family, gender, and identity are more fluid and complex than we think.
The play features a diverse cast of transgender and cisgender actors from Long Beach and surrounding areas. After most of the parts had been cast, two of the three playwrights were asked to play the two leading characters. The play’s director, Ryan Weible, says that “we didn’t expect it to turn out this way, but having the writers play the characters that they had written based loosely on their own life experiences makes this production especially meaningful and impactful.”
Evolve Theatre, a new theatre company whose mission is to create positive social change through theatre, made its debut on March 18 at the Long Beach Playhouse. Evolve Theatre, recently founded by Ryan Weible and Kenny Allen, is a unique company that mixes art with activism, and aims to use theatre to create positive social change in Long Beach. They draw from some of the same tools that Teatro Jornalero Sin Fronteras, Cornerstone Theater Company, San Francisco Mime Troupe and others use, but they are also pioneering their own methods and processes. Evolve Theatre’s first production was a keynote performance for the “Teens Tackle Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drug Abuse” conference in the Spring of 2015. The performance used interactive theatre to engage teens in a dialogue about peer pressure and how it relates to healthy decision making. The Evolve team is building community through meeting and collaborating with local artists and activists to learn more about social issues and challenges which need to be addressed locally.
MORE INFO & TICKETS: http://evolvetheatre.org