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What's A Man? Performance Explores Gender And Identity

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Wilson Sayre
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WLRN
Scott Turner Schofield, center, talks with two local individuals about gender, sexuality and identity.

What does it mean to be a man?

What does it mean to be a boy when you were born a girl?

Scott Turner Schofield is a performing artist and writer and identifies as a queer trans man. In his play “Becoming A Man in 127 Easy Steps,” Schofield explores questions about gender, sexuality and life.

WLRN reporter Wilson Sayre talked to Schofield before the premiere of his show in Miami.  Here are some excerpts from the conversation: 

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Credit Scott Turner Schofield
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The artists in his performance.

"What I did was kind of create 127 different stories that I've experienced over the course of my life that all relate to what I think of as becoming a man. And what becoming a man means to me is going to be different than what it means to anybody else."

"[The show] is a memoir of sorts, but because gender is really performative, like it's about what you're wearing, it's about how you're embodying yourself. I wanted to make it into more of a theater show that is a little bit standup comedy. It's a little bit pure theater, but it's something that is a real spectacle for you to come see."

"I realize that [conversations about gender and identity] don’t have to be awkward. We think that gender is what it is: that you're born a girl or a boy and that's what you should become. And that's it. And we never give it another thought. The mind is a muscle, so if you never give anything another thought the same thing happens to your mind as happens to your muscles if you never move them again, they atrophy, they become weak.... So it's like, come here [to the show and] work out your mind muscle on what gender is, because it hasn't gotten a workout since grade school, let me guarantee you that, and like make up your own mind."

Listen to the full conversation about the show:

Becoming A Man in 127 Easy Steps will be performed at MDC Wolfson Campus’ Live Arts Lab Thursday Feb. 9 at 7 p.m; Friday Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. and Saturday Feb. 11 at 8 p.m.

You can find tickets here.