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A Singular They

Change is the universal aspect of all these sources of story. Story is something moving, something happening, something or somebody changing.

Ursula K Le Guin

When change is who you are, who are you?

I am: a crutch user, a wheelchair user, a walking person, on the floor, an aerialist, a climber. I have grown a beard and I have grown breasts. I am short and broad and hairy; I am flexible and graceful. My body hurts. My body is strong. I walk and I do not walk, on four legs and three legs and two legs and none. I have many genders and none. One body - many - nothing.

How do you tell several stories at once? The same way you live them.

"I paint self-portraits because I am the subject I know best."

Frida Kahlo
Toby upside down in fabric, face spotlight, brow furrowed
Photo by Elaine Eldridge

A Singular They is an evening-length solo show in development for premiere in the 2020-21 season. I am welcoming all my contradictory modes of being into the same room together. Pieces are created by me and five collaborating choreographers who can draw out certain facets of my experience and let them shine. Different solos use different apparatuses and engage different elements of identity and embodiment, including an outsider's approach to masculinity, the way time changes with chronic pain, and what it's like to find freedom.

toby dancing on crutches in a red dress
Photo by Robyn Nicole Film & Photo for Dancing Queerly 2019

"The whole secret of magic," I told him over and over, "is that nothing is fixed, nothing is forever; that everything, from the house I built, to that willow tree I planted, to that mountain you can see from my front door ... all of it yearns to be something else. This is the true fluid of the world - as for the universe, I cannot honestly say, though I have my suspicions."

Master Nikos in "The Green-Eyed Boy" by Peter S Beagle

Team

I am joined in this endeavor by:

  • Project Assistant, Dawn States
  • Collaborating Choreographers: Christal Brown, Nicole Dagesse, Polly Motley, NEVE, and Noah Witke-Mele
  • Musical Collaborators including Liana Nuse
  • Residency support from the New England Center for Circus Arts

Updates

You can support the work and follow its development by backing me on Patreon.

If you'd like to discuss touring to your venue, or want to get email updates about the premiere and tour, email twmacnutt@gmail.com

Toby seated on a stool in a spotlight, back arched, arms bent pulling down from overhead, head back and eyes closed
Photo by David Punia