Originally developed for and currently being used as part of a Harvard Women, Gender, & Sexuality course curriculum, this combination zine and dictionary serves as a gathering place for a small portion of the language currently in popular use for those with non-binary/non-conforming gender identities of varying kinds. This resource is intended to help both individuals exploring their gender and searching for some sort of language to capture their experience as well as those who are looking to support TGNCNB (trans, gender non-conforming, non-binary) folks and learn more about language and how to use it. Language is incredibly fickle and constantly changing to fit the world and those who use it (yes, singular "they" IS grammatically correct and everyone uses it in their daily language, even if subconsciously), but this zine is intended to capture a selection of current language as an aid to folks learning and exploring, while coopting antiquated and unnecessarily gendered images to comment on the socially-constructed nature of gender and the invisibility of those throughout history who did not have the language to capture their internal identity.
Created by Eliza Blair. May 2018.
Click image to download.
'Tis Pity She's a Whore
Adapted from John Ford's text and Directed by Eliza Blair.
Produced by Emily Bergquist and Madison Deming.
Photos by Madison Deming.
December 2017. Loeb Experimental Theater. Facebook: facebook.com/tispityintheex, Instagram: @tispityintheex, Tumblr: tispityshesawhoreblog.tumblr.com.
An immersive, walk-through adaptation of John Ford's Jacobean text, featuring an entirely non-male cast that explores the relationship between gender, sexuality, performance, language, behavior, presentation, and the intersection of all the identities that make up a cohesive self or obscure traditionally legible gender, as well as the ways these public consumptions of identity blur the lines between public and private life to cause violence towards female/trans*/femme/gender non-conforming individuals. The project also included a series of public rehearsals that brought the work to unsuspecting audiences, and a public art installation ("This is My Womxnhood") featuring self-portraits submitted by community members exploring their personal understanding of womxnhood.
Fit for a King
Adapted and Directed by Eliza Blair. Produced by Emily Bergquist.
Photos by Mia Vitale.
An original piece featuring soliloquies and scenes from Shakespeare's History Plays that endeavors to give non-male actors the opportunity to engage with "male" characters and ask the audience to expand its artistic imagination.
The production also included an interactive gallery, featuring womxn who have done groundbreaking work in the theatrical field historically and in the contemporary. The audience engaged with prompt-based gallery walls as well, where they were able to write answers to questions about gender and race issues in theater and share the names and faces of inspiring womxn in their own lives.
This piece is well-suited for any womxn performers ages high-school and up - contact Eliza about the opportunity to bring this empowering piece to womxn in your community.
Our Voices - Who Speaks for Us?
Curated and Directed by Eliza Blair.
Produced by Emily Bergquist and Julius Ross.
Created in 2016 by Megan Jones, Meera Seshadri, Emily Bergquist, and Julius Ross as a platform for individuals to share real stories of love, pain, oppression, harm, and empowerment. Reprised in 2017 and 2018 with brand new stories covering an even broader set of themes through many artistic mediums.
Stories submitted by the community, anonymously and not, were presented through monologue, song, dance, poetry, and film. In addition to writing and performing, Eliza worked with authors and performers to create pieces that were truthful and powerful. A portion of the show was also presented in the Doris Salcedo Materiality of Mourning exhibition at the Fogg Museum (bottom left). This site-specific performance, also curated and directed by Eliza, was presented to small audiences in the museum after-hours, and created a remarkable portrait of all the ways - visible and invisible - that violence manifests.
Presented in conjunction with the Harvard Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response.