By Kris Atienza
BU News Service
The transgender community has been around for a long time, and Paul Lucas’ “Trans Scripts, Part I: The Women” provides actual insight from the people whose stories are being told.
Lucas’ original work was created after dozens of interviews with members of the trans community around the world. “Trans Scripts” centers around seven transgender women (transitioned from man to woman) who vary in lifestyles such as age, ethnicity, jobs, etc.
People should be aware that this is isn’t your typical night out at the theatre. This isn’t like a television show or movie where they throw the words “based on a true story” and maybe borrow three facts from a real-life situation. The seven cast members embodies their respective characters to make the audience feel like they were genuinely hearing the real stories of transwomen. There isn’t a complex stage set up. The performance focuses primarily on how the cast interacts, with occasional special effects.
The women don’t immediately introduce themselves as their characters and I feel that helped the story resonate a bit stronger. Although I usually think there is one character or actor who is the strongest point of any performance, the cast’s dynamic worked in a way that each member held their own and provided a unique insight into their situation.
One of my biggest concerns going into the play was representation. As awesome as Lucas’ ability to get so many interviews with actual transpeople, I was worried that there wouldn’t be transpeople on the stage telling these stories. I was glad to see that there were actual cast members who were transgender because stories are much more powerful with accurate representation.
How the stories came together made the play remarkably fascinating. Each woman’s story found familiar ground and the focus moved from person to person to reveal more of an insight on each individual’s journey with self-identity. It was a small detail that showed that despite how different of lives these people experienced, they were all still part of a strong community that went beyond city limits.
“Trans Scripts” will be running at the American Repertory Theater until Feb 5. Tickets start at $25 for the matinee and evening performances. They can be purchased here. The performance is 90 minutes long with no intermission, but guests are invited to stay afterwards for Part II: The Discussion.