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Trans, non-binary and gender-diverse comedians and performers are standing up and stepping out. As the world evolves its understanding of gender identity, preferred pronouns and social norms, the rising number of gender-transcendent stars are reaching wider and more diverse audiences and garnering critical acclaim.
To further interrogate, understand and celebrate their careers, Transplaining brings together an incredible panel of performers to share their stories from the page to the stage.
Jeez Louise was born in 2002 to encourage more women to get into comedy, and to support those already there. Over the past 18 years, women and LGBTQIA+ comedians have been welcomed onto stages and into writers’ rooms in increasing numbers – because their wit and skill makes great comedy.
In partnership with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, we’ll discuss comedy’s potential to hold space for all comedians – and as a vehicle for speaking truth.
With Cassie Workman, Krishna Istha, Chloe Black and Scout Boxall. Hosted by Anna Piper Scott.
Presented in partnership with Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Anna Piper Scott is a Perth-born, Melbourne-based stand-up comedian with over 10 years of experience across Australia. She’s a trans woman of remarkable wit and social insight, a skilled writer and bold performer. She’s a guaranteed highlight of every festival she’s a part of, whether hosting comedy line-ups, cabaret shows and game shows, or performing solo.
Anna is best known for her solo show Queer & Present Danger, which she performed at the Melbourne Fringe 2019, to rave reviews and sold out crowds, and for which she earned a nomination for Best Comedy. At the Fringe at the Edge of the World 2020 in Hobart, Anna performed to full houses, got nominated for Best Comedy and Best Solo and won Best of the Fest. Before all of that, Anna was half of the Golden Gibbo nominated and critically acclaimed MICF smash-hit show Almost Lesbians, which she created with my comedy partner Sophie Joske.
Anna was featured in Joanne Brookfield’s book No Apologies with the likes of Wendy Harmer, Denise Scott, Geraldine Hickey, Felicity Ward and Fiona O’Loughlin, and she’s also shared the stage with comedy greats such as Wil Anderson, Judith Lucy and Cal Wilson.
Krishna Istha is a London based writer, performance artist, comedian and theatre maker. They have performed extensively across the UK, Germany, Australia and USA.
Since 2013, Krishna has performed, written, devised and collaborated with artists and theatre companies on works spanning theatre, opera, comedy and performance art. Select performance credits include Bullish (2016–2018, National Tour UK); Wild Bore (2017-current, Skirball Centre NYC, Malthouse Theatre Melbourne, Sydney Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Soho Theatre London); Sex Worker’s Opera (2015-2018, Pleasance Theatre London, Campagnie Theatre Amsterdam); The Butch Monologues (2014–2018, across the UK and New York City).
Krishna’s solo show, Beast, directed by Barry Award-winner Zoe Coombs Marr, is a stand-up comedy show, about their trans-gender, trans-national, trans-genre performance life.
Cassie Workman is probably the most experienced newcomer to comedy in the country, owing to the fact that she previously performed under another name. She has recently returned to the stage after beginning her transition, and is already making waves.
Cassie Workman is known for her heartfelt and emotive storytelling, her incisive wit, and brutal deconstructions of the status quo. There is no other voice like hers in comedy today.
Scout Boxall is a queer, nonbinary performer living and working in Naarm (Melbourne). After bursting onto the comedy scene in 2018, they made it to the National Finals of the MICF Raw Comedy Competition, travelled to France to study clowning and gigged at Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Now a fixture of Melbourne's comedy scene, Scout's practice encompasses drag, clown, sketch and stand-up. Scout won Best Emerging Artist at the 2019 Melbourne Fringe Festival for Good Egg, their first solo work.
When they're not writing and performing, Scout can be found working as a court transcriptionist, refereeing roller derby or sewing period garb for LARP (live action roleplay).
Chloe began her stand-up career in Adelaide (at the famed Rhino Room) over 18 years ago. She was a Raw Comedy National Finalist in 2001, although she may have performed back then under another name. She has performed at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Adelaide Fringe and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. She is a broadcaster on Edge Radio in Hobart, as co-host of Film Central. Coming out 4 years ago to friends and family has freed her up to not only find her true self, but also given her stand-up a unique point of view – and a voice with which to tell it.
The Wheeler Centre is delighted to partner with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. No jokes.