Gender identity, nature vs. nurture and the journey of finding oneself. All of these themes are woven into the next show at Trustus Theatre, “Boy,” which premieres this Friday, Jan. 13.
When main character Adam Turner was born, he suffered from a failed circumcision, leading his parents to raise him as a female on the advice of a psychiatrist.
“It’s kind of got a creator/creation sort of relationship in that the doctor is trying to use the power of nurture vs. nature to create the gender of this child,” said Chad Henderson, artistic director at Trustus Theatre.
As Adam grows up and begins to ask questions and explore sexually, he eventually comes to the realization that he is a boy.
“The thing that is most interesting and most human about it is you’re watching this person trying to understand themselves and having choices made for them,” Henderson said. “It’s about the power of choice and it’s about the power of understanding.”
“Boy,” written by Anna Ziegler, is inspired by the true story of David Reimer, whose parents were convinced to raise him as a girl by Dr. John Money. Reimer's story was told in John Colapinto’s book, “As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl”.
"It sounds quite sad, and the show does have a lot of heartbreaking moments, but it has a lot of heart and humor as well," Henderson said, "and really in the end it offers, in great supply, a lot of hope, which I think is going to be important for a lot of us as theatergoers in the New Year.”
“Boy” is playing at the side door stage at Trustus, which is a smaller room than the main theater hall. While the stage is smaller, Henderson believes that this is the perfect way to experience the show.
“It’s a very close experience, which I think really is the perfect marriage for this production and this script and that space because it just allows you to engage in it more intimately,” Henderson said. “You’re just in a room with these people. You’re a fly on the wall.”
“Boy” is showing at Trustus Friday through Sunday of this week and Wednesday through Saturday next week. Tickets cost $20 for students and $25 for non-students. Henderson said the show is around 90 minutes long and that Trustus encourages attendees to stay afterwards to enjoy drinks and talk to the cast in an informal setting.
Friday, Jan. 13 at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14 at 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15 at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19 at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20 at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan 21 at 8 p.m. (Make sure that we get the graphic pulled from the layout)