OBERON presents the I.D. Festival

For Immediate Release: December 15, 2016

Contact: Emma Watt 617.495.2668 x 6-8004










Cambridge, MA – OBERON, the American Repertory Theater’s (A.R.T.) second stage and club theater venue, presents the I.D. Festival – a festival exploring gender identity and celebrating the diverse experiences of the trans community. This festival is presented in conversation with the A.R.T.’s production of Trans Scripts, Part I: The Women, performing at the Loeb Drama Center from January 19 – February 5, and continues OBERON’s engagement with trans artists and stories. Performances include GLOWBERON: Johnny Blazes and Brian King, Alison Young and the Swinging Steaks, Peacock Rebellion, Becca Blackwell, Our Lady J, NIC Kay, The Moth, Kit Yan, A.R.T. of Human Rights and Calpernia Addams.


Tickets for I.D. Festival are currently on sale to the general public by phone at 617.547.8300, in person at the Loeb Drama Center (64 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA; Tues – Sun, noon – 5PM) and) or OBERON (2 Arrow Street, Cambridge, MA; 1 hour before curtain), or online at americanrepertorytheater.org/id-festival.


Patrons buying a ticket for any I.D. Festival show and Trans Scripts on A.R.T.’s Loeb stage and get a discount.
For more information on Trans Scripts visit americanrepertorytheater.org/TransScripts.


Do You Queer What I Queer?

Thursday, January 13 at 8PM
Tickets $25


What’s 10 years between queers? Born exactly 10 years apart, Johnny Blazes and Brian King are twin queens of song and glitter that share everything… except most of their cultural references. In the decade between their coming-of-age (or radically different “coming out” stories), social attitudes about gender, sexuality, and identity made some tectonic shifts. Searching for common ground, the pair walk a mile in each other’s Doc Martens, trading the endless corridors of high school hazing for the triumphant cresting of Beacon Hill in the sunshine of a Youth Pride Parade. While one was listening to queercore punk on vinyl in a dorm room, the other was riding the bus along with Bikini Kill playing on a cassette Walkman and avoiding the leers of townies. Identities blur as the pair explores intersections and spaces between their versions of queerdom, interlacing story, song, and video to expose the gaps imposed not only in generation, but by geography, gender, and shoe size.


Sunday, January 22 at 8PM
Tickets $20

Bridging the gap between the LGBTQ+ community and country rock and roll, Alison Young brings her fusion of two unlikely worlds to OBERON for one night only. Performing a mix of original country songs and covers of contemporary favorites from stars like Luke Bryan and Miranda Lambert (revamped with her own LGBTQ+ twist), don’t miss this one-of-a-kind country music superstar before she takes Nashville by storm.

Alison Young is a hopeless devotee of country rock. Her original songs reflect both the sadness and the fun that come with being trans. Young feels most comfortable breaking down barriers while screaming about guns, beer, and cheatin’ liars.


The Swinging Steaks have been New England’s premier country-rock band for more than 20 years and are among the originators of the current roots rock/alt country movement. The band has appeared with Hank Williams Jr., The Black Crowes, Lynryd Skynyrd, Los Lobos, and more, as well as on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and NPR’s Mountain Stage.

They, Themself and Schmerm
Monday, January 23 at 7:30PM
Tickets $25

Part classic standup comedy special, part teen confessional, They, Themself and Schmerm is Becca Blackwell’s disturbingly hilarious personal tale of being adopted into a Midwestern religious family, trained to be a girl, molested, and plagued by the question, “How do I become a man and do I even want that?” Becca engages in loving confrontation with the audience, asking what it truly means to be authentic in these meat carcasses. They, Themself and Schmerm is a fiercely vulnerable solo piece that details the tragic-comic transitions in life, family, sex, and gender.

Becca Blackwell is an New York-based trans actor, performer and writer. Existing between genders, and preferring the pronoun “they,” Blackwell works collaboratively with playwrights and directors to expand our sense of personhood and the body through performance.

Brouhaha: QTPOC Stand-Up Comedy
Friday, January 27 at 8PM
Tickets $20


Oakland-based people of color comedy crew Peacock Rebellion, named one of “Ten Incredible LGBTQ Artist Collectives You Should Be Watching” (PRIDE.com), remixes their award-winning, sold-out Brouhaha Stand-Up Comedy with brand-new work for the I.D. Festival. Featuring Lexi Adsit (National Queer Arts Festival), Devi K (United States of Asian America Festival), and an award-winning cast praised in Colorlines, Bitch, and The Huffington Post, Brouhaha brings stand-up, storytelling, and spoken word – all hilarious, all with an activist twist.

Gospel for the Godless

Saturday, January 28 at 7:30PM
Tickets $25 - $35

Hot on the heels of writing on the Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning TV show “Transparent,” Our Lady J comes to OBERON to paint the church pink with Gospel for the Godless, an exhilarating celebration of well-known pop songs, reimagined through the gospel lens. Inspired by conventional Gospel music, this show is anything but traditional, promising to deliver you from your woes, sans the usual dogmatic baggage.


Our Lady J is known for her visionary gospel styling, powerhouse pianist skills and unforgettable live shows. Along with the Train-To-Kill Gospel Choir, she has been delivering a new testament of post-religious gospel music to sold out crowds at NYC’s Joe’s Pub, The Zipper Factory & Ars Nova Theatre, as well as venues all over the world. Recently, OUT Magazine named her as one of the “Out 100,” a list of people who have shaped LGBTQ+ culture.


lil BLK

Sunday, January 29 at 8PM
Tickets $15 - $20

lil BLK is an experimental solo performance. Influenced by New York City gay/queer ballroom culture, live punk shows, butoh and praise dance, lil BLK is a story about a fairy boi, child of god, lil black girl, performer, and activist. The story plays out through a series of biographical moments that are equal parts narrative and dream.

Screening of My Prairie Home with discussion featuring Rae Spoon, NIC Kay, and others

Moderated by Timothy Patrick McCarthy
Monday, January 30 at 7:30PM
Free, tickets must be reserved in advance

Embark on an exploration through the documentary-musical My Prairie Home, in which indie singer Rae Spoon takes on a playful, meditative and at times melancholic journey. Set against majestic images of the infinite expanses of the Canadian prairies – interviews, performances, and music sequences reveal Spoon’s inspiring process of building a life of their own, as a trans person and as a musician. Tim McCarthy will then moderate a discussion with Spoon and performance artist NIC Kay about accessibility, process, creation, and the challenges ahead for trans and queer artists.

Topic: Gender

Tuesday, January 31 at 8PM
Tickets $10

The Moth StorySLAMs are steadily spreading all over the map, gathering people and stories from all over the country. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston have multiple shows each month. The Moth is open to anyone with a five-minute story to share on the night’s posted theme. The brave of heart, or those with stories they’re aching to tell, prepare personal, true tales. When the doors open, storyteller hopefuls put their names in The Moth Hat. A half hour later, names are picked, and one by one, storytellers take the stage. Each person has just five minutes! The ten feature stories are scored by teams of judges selected from the audience. Each StorySLAM generates a StorySLAM winner. After ten SLAMs, the winners face off in our GrandSLAM Championships. Come sign up to tell a story, or just enjoy the show! The topic of this evening of The Moth is themed around stories of gender.


Queer Heartache

Friday, February 3 at 8PM
Tickets $20

Queer Heartache is an award-winning solo slam poetry theater show by Kit Yan that explores his identity as a transgender, queer, Asian American from Hawaii. Kit asks what queer hearts and families are made of, and interrogates the forces that constantly work to break them apart. Queer Heartache is a testament to the resilience of queer love in all its forms – between cis and trans siblings, lovers, pride parade attendees, and many more – in the face of heartbreaking barriers everywhere from the dating pool to the medical establishment.


Kit Yan is an Asian American Brooklyn based artist by way of Hawaii. Kit’s theater work includes Interstate: a new musical with Melissa Li (terraNOVA Collective’s Groundworks Residency at the IRT, Project Reach, Dixon Place), Queer Heartache (IRT Theater, Chicago Fringe, Transgender Theater Festival at the Brick Theater, San Francisco Fringe), and Ai Wei Wei: According to What (Brooklyn Museum). Kit’s work has received recognition from Campus Pride, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, and the OUTmusic awards.



Saturday, February 4 at 7PM
Tickets $25

In Testimony, Calpernia Addams’s debut album of original acoustic music, she tells stories from a life that began as the musical eldest child of a minister in a fundamentalist Christian cult hidden away in the woods of Tennessee. A harrowing escape into the burning deserts of the first Gulf War as a combat medic followed, and then her unlikely rebirth as a teetotaling showgirl and burlesque dancer on some of the South’s most dangerous and underground stages. A devastating tragedy led to years of work in activism and the crushing machine of Hollywood. Now Calpernia has returned to the simple instruments and music of her childhood to give testimony of her still-unquenchable passion for authenticity, hope and adventure.


Calpernia Addams is an ex-Navy Desert Storm combat medic turned Old Hollywood showgirl. From her earliest beginnings as a child playing Bluegrass gospel fiddle in an isolated fundamentalist cult deep within the woods of Tennessee, she has experienced a dizzying ascension into her globe-spanning career as a cult-favorite musician, actress and activist for women’s and LGBTQ+ rights.


OBERON is the American Repertory Theater’s second stage, a destination for theater and nightlife on the fringe of Harvard Square. In addition to offering work from the A.R.T.’s main season, OBERON is also a thriving incubator for local, emerging and celebrated artists to imagine new projects that could only exist in this exciting club-theater environment.  Thousands of artists and performance groups bring work to the space each year. OBERON regularly features local performers including aerialists, beat poets, food artists, tap dancers, gender-bending sketch troupes, comedians, hula-hooping burlesquers, and pop-and-lock human statues to name a few.

OBERON is located at 2 Arrow Street at the corner of Mass Ave. in Harvard Square, Cambridge. For tickets, call 617.547.8300, or visit cluboberon.com.

 @clubOBERON | #IDfestival


Release Date:
December 16, 2016

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