100 minutes / 5 Actors
As of 2018, Facebook lists over 70 gender options ranging from transmasculine to neutrois. And/Orlando, a play about navigating this proliferation of genders, lifts the veil of political correctness, allowing its characters to engage in conversations even gender studies students are afraid to have. Joan Cleary, an English professor at a fancy liberal arts college in New York City, is forced to confront the limits of open-mindedness when her thirteen-year-old daughter Erin announces her intention to become Aaron, a transgender son. Joan’s partner, Emma, balks at the suggestion that they should proceed cautiously in case Erin/Aaron is merely going through a phase of adolescent exploration. Virginia Woolf’s Orlando provides a touchstone of gender fluidity throughout the play, a way to historicize and clarify contemporary transgender discourse. But for all its gender-bending exploration, And/Orlando is primarily a play about parenting, an increasingly complicated challenge in the New Millennium.
Lark Play Development Center — roundtable reading, May, 2018