What We Love: Outside the Frame

Two new one-man shows and a conversation about sex and gender

Deen tells the story of coming out as transgender to his Muslim family (photo by Joseph Moran)

Deen is a Brooklyn-based performance artist who, like Cher or Madonna, is known on a first name basis. These days, audiences can find him in Philly performing in his one-man show Draw the Circle at InterAct Theatre (2030 Sansom St.). What makes his story so unique might have been the part about when he came out to his parents as a lesbian at 19. But the heart of this story explores what it meant later, coming out as a transgender man in a Muslim family.

Tim Miller takes on gay marriage in America (courtesy of InterAct)

In the show – which runs now through April 8, Deen plays a diverse cast of characters – including his mother, father and partner as part of a four-week festival called “Outside the Frame: Voices from the Other America.” Deen’s among several experimental performance artists who explore complex and compelling stories about sex, gender, race and society.

Also included in the festival (which runs through April 22) is Tim Miller, a gay performer whose workshop was recently canceled at Villanova University over concerns that he would conflict with the Catholic Church’s stance on homosexuality and gay marriage. He opens his newest play – Lay of the Land – (April 12), a witty look at the “state of the queer union,” which follows his adventures to 45 states and counting.

Miller is also hosting a week-long performance workshop (starting April 9) that will guide participants for several days in using personal memory to create an original piece for the stage.

For more information about the festival, click here.