By K. Woodzick, MFA Theater: Contemporary Performance
“To think I did all that
And may I say – not in a shy way
Oh no, oh no, not me
I did it my way.”
-Paul Anka, “My Way”
I’ve had this idea for a fringe show for well over a year. Musical theatre and conversations about how to make spaces more inclusive for transgender and non-binary people are the two things about which I’m most passionate. And I was determined to put both things into the same show!
Before moving to Boulder to start graduate studies in the MFA in Contemporary Performance program at Naropa, I lived in the Seattle area for nine years. I had started putting together the pieces for A Genderqueer Cabaret for an LGBTQ+ Fringe Festival weekend, but had to put the project on the back burner when I found out I was moving.
When submissions opened for the Boulder Fringe Festival, I applied right away. Though I didn’t get selected at the initial lottery, I was lucky enough to get off the waitlist. This gave the project a second life.
The concept of the show is simple: take songs from musical theatre and change the gendered pronouns to be gender neutral. “As Long As He Needs Me” from Oliver becomes “As Long As They Need Me.”
My first year in Naropa’s program empowered me to hone and claim the unique types of performance I want to make and share with others. For me, that means it needs to be loud, it needs to be queer, and it needs to make people think outside the gender binary.
The MFA in Contemporary Performance shapes multi-disciplinary arts and helps them put their stamp on the modern theatrical world. Several other alumni are self-producing or producing shows in this year’s fringe. My tech director is alum of the program. My director is my dear friend, roommate and classmate. From the classroom to the community, we’re bringing bold new work to Boulder.