Susan Cato-Chapman | Breakout Session
"Transperspectives - Unifying Language and Form"
About this session: With the growing concern over the discrimination and representation in our LGBTQ community, especially our transgender populace, it is essential now more than ever to educate the theatre community on the best way to provide guidance in a respectful and beneficial way. The person who identifies as gender non-conforming faces a barrage of daily challenges, many that extend past the psychological impact. The physical demands of such a transformation, whether the individual is seeking hormonal treatment or not, can create a chaos in the body while the person seeks to discover their new identity. “Passing” is often a person’s best line of defense against confrontation and thus, these individuals often reside in a constant state of startle. Essentially, a person who is in the act of processing a new identity may be in direct conflict between their internal and external structure. As a theatre practitioner, we must make every effort to meet the student where they are in the moment while doing so with respect. In this workshop, we will use the idea of archetypes and the Alexander Technique to explore and discuss how our use is affected by our deep connection to the chains of social construction and learn how to provide structural support while observing the unique challenges that gender non-conforming individuals face when dealing with societal norms.
Susan Cato-Chapman is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Fairmont State University in West Virginia. She holds an MFA in Acting from Florida Atlantic University and a BA in Drama from The University of North Carolina at Asheville. Susan is a Certified Michael Chekhov Teacher and works as an Associate Teacher with the Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium. She is a recent graduate of the Chesapeake Bay Alexander Studies. Her Alexander work has opened the door to her current research: Trans-perspectives and Language, which she continues to share with students, professors, and professional actors through classroom work and various opportunities around the country. In addition to all of her fun academic research, she is currently at the beginning of the greatest research appointment of her life: motherhood.