Monday, December 01, 2014

A Play I’ll Like To See.

I came across this article posted on Facebook and three guessed what attracted my attention?
Antoinette Thornes Is a Trans Actress Who Rocks
The Thornes singer chats about her role as a woman with a secret in the family drama On a Stool at the End of the Bar.
The Advocate
By Brandon Voss
November 30, 2014

How honest should a trans person be with his or her partner? That’s one question raised in Robert Callely’s world-premiere drama On a Stool at the End of the Bar, which runs through December 14 at off-Broadway’s 59E59 Theatres. Antoinette Thornes stars as Chris, a woman raising three teenagers in New Jersey with her blue-collar boyfriend of 10 years — a happy suburban family ripped apart by the discovery that Chris is transgender. Thornes, a New York rock singer, discusses the high price of passing.
What made you want to do On a Stool at the End of the Bar?
I used to act years ago. I met the director, Michael Parva, through some actor friends, and I told him I was transgender. He knew the writer, Bob, who’d written a play about a transgender woman. Five years ago, he encouraged me to audition for it. I met with everyone, it was looking good, but for some reason, the play didn’t happen. It was a milestone for me, because it was the closest I’d come to something that I considered worthwhile. So I was like, Screw this. I’m not acting anymore. I’m just gonna go back to doing what I love: writing and performing music. And for the past five years, that’s what I’ve been doing — until a few months ago, when Mike approached me again and said Bob was ready to do the play. I said, “Are you kidding? Don’t mess with me!” So I auditioned again. Judy Henderson, the casting director, pulled me aside and told me I was very talented, which was very nice, because she doesn’t have to say that. The rest is history. I dove in headfirst and haven’t looked back.
When you can fully integrate into society it creates a number of problems many times violence against us is the result of being outed. A man ogles you in a bar and then finds out your history results all to often in attacks to us. For many of us deciding when and to who to come to is a very difficult decision and a very personal decision. There is no right or wrong answer. We each have to decide for ourselves and we cannot criticize others for their decision. And that is addresses in the play,
The play’s conflict stems from the fact that Chris didn’t disclose her trans identity to her boyfriend, Tony, from the start. At one point, Chris says, “I’m not even sure I think I was right, but there’s no changing it now.” Do you defend her decision?
I really understand both sides of it. It’s a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation. Once you get to a certain point, it’s hard to open up and be honest. And if you are honest at the very beginning, there’s a good chance of violence — you can get punished for telling the truth. Personally, I feel that you can’t have a real relationship with anybody unless they know everything. But I also see the other side. Chris has gone through so much, she finally found the person she wants to be with, she’s already had the surgery, she feels she’s now a woman, so she doesn’t feel like she needs to tell him anything.

Chris and Tony’s violent confrontation is hard to watch. What’s it like to play?
Like any actress would, I try my hardest to become the character for the two hours, but it is heart-wrenching. Right after that carnage, when I break down, it’s real. I feel stripped down and humiliated. But all the stuff I’ve gone through, it’s been just as bad if not worse for a lot of other people, so I can’t complain.
As many of you who read my blog regularly I am a strong supporter of trans-people playing the part of a trans-person.
I wouldn’t have been shocked to see the role of Chris played by a non-trans actor. Does the casting of a trans actress feel like progress?
Definitely. Ever since Laverne Cox on Orange Is the New Black, more people are talking about transgender issues, so I think it’s probably a matter of striking while the iron’s hot. These things go in phases, just like with the gay community: First it’s hated, then it’s a joke, and then it becomes the norm, but it takes a while to go through those cycles. At this point, I still think transgender people are a punch line in a lot of jokes. But I’m not some kind of activist trying to make any statement here. I’m just a girl trying to get by.
There are many trans-actors and actresses out there that deserve a chance. That is all I’m asking for, let them audition. Also trans-actors/actresses should not just play trans-part they should be cast for cis-gender parts.

For tickets and more information, visit

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