Gender Transition to Unfold on Stage in Local Theater Series

Swift Shuker in a video promoting This Damned Body, which will premiere at this year's FringeArts Festival.

Swift Shuker in a video promoting This Damned Body, which will premiere at this year’s FringeArts Festival.

The [redacted] Theater Company will present the first in a series documenting one person’s gender transformation at the FringeArts Festival from August 28th to the 30th. This Damned Body Is Carved Out of Meat is one of three theatrical components to document the life of transgender performer Swift Shuker, who is currently in the beginning stages of transitioning from a male body to an androgynous one (hence our use of the pronoun “they”]. This Damned Body will document Shuker’s life in real-time and chronicle their transformation. “We’re trying to reveal what is happening with Shuker’s body and emotions, the way they are interacting with the world and the way the world interacts with them,” says co-director and website designer Josh McLucas.

Written, co-performed and co-directed by Shuker, This Damned Body is Carved Out of Meat is a play involving two characters: a trans woman and her lover. Each actor plays a version of themselves in the attempt to honestly portray their struggles to find happiness in an oppressive, put-people-in-a-box world. The performance is intended to reflect how each character relates to their own gender. Through a far-reaching conversation that takes place in and around an intimate bathtub setting, the audience is provided a lens into the transgender experience. “Ultimately we want to save lives and let people know they are not alone,” explains McLucas.

This Damned Body is a two-year project that not only incorporates the three live performances, but video clips, photo albums and audio podcasts; all of which can be found on the project’s constantly evolving website. Each component of the project is intended to archive the process in a personal way so people can understand and relate. “We want to provide a very honest look that, yes, there are going to be some really tough times and you will be sad, and it might often feel like you’re the only one who feels this way. But it’s not true. Everyone has ups, everyone has downs. Especially those going through these types of grand changes,” explains McLucas.

The project will span two years to coincide with Shuker’s transition. When the final installment of This Damned Body plays live in 2017, Shuker will have completed the last major milestone in the transition process. Click here to learn more and to fund the This Damned Body campaign.