Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tranny Roadshow coming to UO April 15

When: Thursday, April 15 at 8:00pm
Where: Living and Learning Center (LLC) Performance Hall, University of Oregon


Vaudeville makes a comeback with North America's longest running traveling show of trans-idenfied performers.

The UO stop of the 2010 Pacific Northwest Tour continues a tradition of spreading insight and delivering raucous entertainment through a multimedia performance art extravaganza. The show includes puppetry, story telling, juggling, comedy, music, and poetry. Together these forms create a variety show where the expression of gender and the expression of self are inseparable.

Read the press release after the jump.


Tranny Roadshow 2010 Pacific Northwest Tour
Celebrate the experience of transpeople with wit, wisdom and a touch of wonder!


The Tranny Roadshow, North America’s longest running traveling show of trans-identified performers, is back on the road with its 2010 Pacific Northwest (PNW) Tour, continuing a five-year tradition of bringing laughter, contemplation, and gender exploration to communities all over the continent. The PNW Tour will feature performances in 11 communities throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. The cast features eight seasoned entertainers who bring energy and acumen from all parts of the country and the world. They will also be joined by select local performers from points along the tour's route. The Pacific Northwest Tour extends from April 14 through April 24, 2010 (schedule at www.trannyroadshow.com/schedule.html)

EVOLVING CONTENT
The 2010 Pacific Northwest Tour continues a tradition of spreading insight and delivering raucous entertainment through a multimedia performance art extravaganza. This cast is full of diverse talent and dazzling display, including puppetry, story telling, juggling, comedy, music, and poetry. Stationary art (i.e. photography and sculpture) is also on exhibit; however, most of the presentation is the live show, a unique variety show where the expression of gender and the expression of self are inseparable. The show is a fluid entity, changing to suit the artists and the crowd, but always it is full of intelligence, fun and humor.

Some pieces of each show focus specifically on gender, and many others do not. All people have multiple identities, which overlap, intertwine and impact each other in an assortment of ways. One of the aims of the Tranny Roadshow is to present transpeople as whole, multi-faceted people, whose art expresses many things, of which gender is only one. The cast presents a wide spectrum of gender identities and a brilliant array of living art, illuminating the ties that bind our identities to our artwork and to the world.

People of all backgrounds will find the content engaging, thought-provoking, and comprehensible.

THE REIMAGINING OF VAUDEVILLIAN ENTERTAINMENT
In the fall of 2004, Jamez Terry decided that he wanted more performance opportunities in his life. Instead of seeking existing venues, he imagined the show that he wanted to be in: based loosely on the traditions of traveling vaudeville variety shows, and inspired by the modern examples of the Sex Workers Art Show and A Prairie Home Companion, the show would mix education with entertainment, make transgender issues more fun and less academic, build bridges between marginalized communities, and concentrate on transpeople without focusing solely on gender.

After conceiving the show, he collaborated with co-founder Kelly Shortandqueer to make the dream become reality. The Tranny Roadshow became the original North American traveling show of trans-identified performers. In its first year, the show travelled coast to coast in 66 days. After five years of performing, it has featured the work of nearly 100 trans-identified artists, performing 105 times in 75 communities throughout the United States and Canada. Utilizing a volunteer staff of five, the Tranny Roadshow strives to keep tour costs at a minimum in order to travel to rural communities as well as urban areas. By including flexible tech needs and thrifty planning, the Tranny Roadshow is able to keep performances affordable and accessible.

BRILLIANT ARRAY OF TALENT
Previous tours have featured Ryka Aoki de la Cruz, founder of Trans/Giving; Tona Brown, professional opera singer and classical violinist; Katz, aka Athens Boys Choir; Citizen Rahne, guitarist and vocalist for the Degenerettes; Imani Henry, playwright and performer of B4T - Before Testosterone; Scott Turner Schofield, playwright and performer of Debutante Balls and Becoming a Man in 127 EASY Steps; Dylan Scholinski, author of The Last Time I Wore A Dress; Jamez Terry, co-founder of the Denver Zine Library and the Tranny Roadshow; Shawna Virago, Director of TrannyFest; Kit Yan, slam poet and member of Good Asian Drivers, and many others.

Performers are selected with the breadth and variety of trans experience in mind. The show strives for diversity, not only of race and ethnicity, but of age, class, region of origin, ability, family structure, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, educational background, religion and more. All people who identify themselves as transgender are welcome to submit during audition cycles, and novice performers frequently share the stage with experienced artists. Each touring cast includes Tranny Roadshow regulars, as well as new talent, and because the cast is constantly shifting and performers often do not meet until mere hours before a performance, each tour is vastly different. Indeed, artists often choose to collaborate while on tour, allowing for each show to incorporate new works and inspiring future connection between trans performers. In this aspect, the Tranny Roadshow influences performers as often as it impacts audiences.

“The Tranny Roadshow was a beautiful experience because it’s a home away from home - I'm surrounded by others who accept me because we're all the same,” says B.O.I. Sha, a rap artist from New Jersey.

Johnny Blazes, a recent addition to the show, reflected on what inspired hir to submit: “The first time I saw The Tranny Roadshow perform was around the time that I was starting to develop a vocabulary for the dissatisfaction I had been feeling about gender for many years. I was in awe of these performers! What a life they must lead, I imagined, going from town to town, performing on their violins, telling stories, singing songs, reciting poems—engaging with audiences around the country to show them how beautiful a multifaceted gender can be.”

“I can go on stage in front of hundreds of people with pride and self confidence,” says 79-year-old Linda Bedore. “I find them very receptive and know in my heart that when they leave, after the show is over, they will look upon transgender persons differently from then on.”

The Pacific Northwest Tour will bring together Jamez Terry, author and musician solidad decosta, comedienne Red Durkin, singer/songwriter StormMiguel Florez, puppeteer Geppetta, spoken word activist Kimothy Shaughnessy, musician Shawna Virago, and juggler Nathen Wurzel. Local performers will join select shows. For complete bios of these performers, check out the performer page on our website: http://www.trannyroadshow.com

"…a tumble of energy and delight and a little chaos." Grady Challis
Over the years, The Tranny Roadshow has received praise from critics throughout the country. Eric Weddle, The Independent, writes, "Tackling transgender and queer issue results in either tiresome discourse or explosive humanistic art. [The Tranny Roadshow is] on the latter tip with a beehive of jugglers, flickering lights, stomp and spoken-word locked on the nationwide DIY circuit. On a quest to educate and entertain 'where the expression of gender and the expression of self are inseparable,' each stop is venue-specific, steeped in audience interaction and hell-bent on inciting laughter and thought equally." The Bay Area Reporter calls the show "an edgy celebration of gender variant artists."

While being featured in national publications, such as The Advocate, remains important in our goal to reach ever widening audiences, the inspiration and growth that is possible in individual communities remains a focus. “You will laugh. You may dance. And hopefully ... you will leave with a more positive understanding of what it is to be transgendered today.” Tammy Chamberland, Lewiston Sun Journal

JAMEZ TERRY, CO-FOUNDER
The Tranny Roadshow is the creation of Jamez Terry, a zine-writing, fiddle-playing, story-telling, circus-loving historian and radical organizer. Terry moves as often as possible, in order to keep wreaking havoc in new parts of the world. He is currently planning his next adventure, which will include grad school, a newborn due in October, and as much touring as possible. He has published more than 50 zines in the last 12 years with writings that include politics, fiction, poetry, personal stories, and humor, and, in 2003, he co-founded the Denver Zine Library.

Terry has worked in multiple queer activist settings, providing trans education at conferences, schools, churches, and nonprofits around the country. In organizing the Tranny Roadshow, he has found a way to unite all of the things he loves best - travel, zines, performance art, and queer/trans activism. While virtually every aspect of the Tranny Roadshow utilizes his skills (from performer recruitment and selection, booking, press and promotion, to travel arrangements, bookkeeping, tour management, stage management, and much more), the Tranny Roadshow would not be the same without the support of the following current and past volunteer staff: Kelly Shortandqueer, co-founder; A.J. Bryce, Red Durkin, Dalice Marie Spitzer, and Dee Doris Windsome, tour crew; Sara Judy, intern; and Julia Terry, webcrafter and homebase support.

This April, join the Tranny Roadshow in the Pacific Northwest. For audiences of all ages, wit, wisdom, and wonder will abound!

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