Staged reading series explores gender fluidity

MIDDLEBURY — Taylor Mac’s sly, subversive play, “Hir,” described by The Chicago Tribune, as “a major dramatic work of the 21st Century American theater” will make its Vermont debut in a staged reading by Middlebury Actors’ Workshop’s Cutting Edge Series. The performance will take place on Sunday, Nov. 18, 4 p.m., at The Vermont Coffee Company in Middlebury.
When Isaac returns from the war to care for his sick father he finds a household in revolt. Liberated from an abusive marriage, Isaac’s mom allies herself with Isaac’s newly out transgender sibling on a mission to dismantle the patriarchy. “Hir” doesn’t merely explore themes of gender fluidity, queer theory and the subversion of toxic masculinity, because that could be dull. It lightens the weight of concepts that many find foreign or fraught, places them in a family setting and detonates them. Shrapnel flies everywhere.
This intriguing comedy will make you laugh, make you shudder, make you tear up a bit. Those bold, brave and open enough to sit in the discomfort that can come from looking at things from diverse points of view will be rewarded with a rich and very real perspective on the world in which we live.
Directed by Rebecca Strum, the cast includes Melissa Lourie, Sam Finn Cutler, Gary Smith and Skylar Franklin. Frankie Dunleavy will read stage directions.
A talk-back with the cast and refreshments will follow the performance. Admission is free (suggested donation $10). Adult content: not recommended for children under the age of 16.

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