I enter the room barefoot.
As I enter, alone, I invite you to join me.
As we step, together, I must remember to sweep the floor from corner to corner. This: a ritual of care informing our collaboration. This: a compassionate co-existence as we step forward, or backward, or as we pause to remain anchored where we stand.
There is curiosity in our co-existence, as we confront the conflict between our choices. Between them, not of them; my work rarely centers conflict in its content. But it is in the choosing that we examine space between ourselves and others, between the floor and our bare feet.
Collective liberation moves forward not by a precise choice, but instead by the rigorous practice of remembering why we continue. It is grasping at the roots of our rituals and revising by our repetition, releasing our reliance on precision, remembering the practice that we’ve been given. It is a vulnerable, bare-footed practice.
I am a trans, queer artist moved to resist and dismantle oppressive ideologies in the spaces of our making. And so, I must not simply make; I must also witness. I must honor the work of others just as I invite others to work with me. I must honor the necessary intersections between Trans Liberation and Black Liberation and every other radical iteration. And as the medium of theatre creates conflict between maker and witness, I remember that in conflict there is closeness. I choose to honor our co-existence.
I create and direct the kind of art I feel compelled to witness: experience-driven, anti-theatrical, trans-centered work towards collective liberation. This kind of theatre invites me to enter the room, take off my shoes, and begin making something new.
[An acknowledgement: these words are built upon the work of Angela Davis, Adrienne Maree Brown, Augusto Boal, Suzan-Lori Parks, Audre Lorde, Shakina Nayfack, Mei Ann Teo, and many other artists, leaders, organizers. I continue to honor their ideas as I dream on my own]
é boylan (they/them) is a NYC based director, creator, and composer developing new work towards trans liberation. Recent/Upcoming projects: Soft Butter (Ars Nova, Musical Theatre Factory), The Doctor is Dead (O'Neill, MTF), Container (Trans Lab/WP/Public Theater, Rattlestick), Femmebodys, or: the way we leave (NAMT Award, MTF), and Waafrika 123 (National Queer Theater). é has incubated work with resident artists at LCT3/Lincoln Center, Manhattan Theatre Club, BAM, the O'Neill, Joe's Pub, Birdland, Studio Theatre, and elsewhere. A graduate of The University of Chicago and NTI, é has served as 2019 Trans Lab Fellow, 2019-20 MTC Directing Fellow, 2021 JMF Songwriter, and currently serves as a member of Roundabout Theatre Company’s Directors Group and Musical Theatre Factory's Makers Cohort II, as well as a Resident Playwright at Lincoln Center Theater.
Director - Creator - Composer