Winona State University will host “First Person: A Life in Transition” by “First Person” theatre troupe at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, in Harriet Johnson Auditorium, Somsen Hall.

The performance is hosted by the Child Advocacy Studies Program, the Faculty Association GLTBA Committee, the Department of Sociology, and the Gender and Sexuality Studies department of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program.

“First Person” theatre troupe will also host a panel discussion on Queer Theatre from 3 to 4 p.m. Feb. 10 in the Performing Arts Center, room 154.

“First Person: A Life in Transition” is written by JamieAnn Meyers and directed by Shalee Coleman. The play was first produced by 20% Theatre Company in Minneapolis for performance as part of the Q-Stage Series.

The play attempts to break down stereotypical barriers that prevent society from knowing the trans community as an incredibly varied spectrum of individuals. Each person has a different story, and “First Person” is JamieAnn’s 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.

The principle storyteller, JamieAnn, is accompanied by a chorus ensemble that participates in dialogue and portrays the story through body movement. Ensemble members include Zealot Hamm, Beckett Love, Suzi Love and Eileen Noonan.

JamieAnn hopes the audience will leave the show with an understanding of the complexity, the struggles and the joys of a trans person’s life. She wants the audience to get inside her head and understand that each of us is different, and each of us struggles with many conflicting emotions. She wants her story of her lifelong transition and the complexity of living “in-between” to emerge.

The performance is 50 minutes long. There will be a talk-back discussion with the cast following the performance.

Adult content, language and some on-screen nudity is present in the performance.

This performance is free and open to the public.

The panel discussion will be broad, ranging in scope and will explore how writers, actors, directors and producers bring queer theater to life. Some topics of particular interest include: the role of queer theater in combating transphobia, biphobia and homophobia; how writers and directors use storytelling and the intersections between identities to bring a queer play to life; the importance of bringing trans and gender queer voices to the conversation; the importance and means by which queer identities are embodied; and the responsibility of producers and directors to venture into queer theater, to choose plays with queer themes, and use queer actors to embody queer roles.

For more information, contact Tamara Berg at TBerg@winona.edu.

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Brian Waldbillig

Brian is a Public Relations major and Communication Studies minor from Farmington, MN. His hobbies include photography, hiking and going to concerts.