This winter, 20% Theatre Company is thrilled to present the world premiere of The Naked I: Insides Out – the 3rd in a series of Naked I plays that explore queer and trans* experiences through monologues, short scenes, and spoken word poems. The show was created over the past year by selecting 25 of 119 stories submitted by community members. This newest installment of The Naked I will involve over 75 LGBTQ artists and allies – including contributing writers, directors, performers, designers, technicians and supporting staff.
You can see The Naked I: Insides Out February 13-23, 2014 at Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis. Purchase tickets now!
Leading up to the run of the show, we have been featuring interviews with a variety of The Naked I: Insides Out artists. We recently asked Beckett Love what they had to say about The Naked I: Insides Out.
What is your role in The Naked I: Insides Out? What pieces will you be directing?
I am a director. As is indicated by the following question, to which the answer is: What It’s Like (better known as the Intro) and Just Draggin’ Along.
What attracted you to The Naked I directing opportunity?
One day, as I was platonically scrolling through okcupid profiles, I came across a user that encouraged all viewers to come out and support said individual in their performance in a 20% production. I said I would go, and as I am a queer of my word, I went. The rest, as they say, is history.
Briefly, what is your directing background? Education? Experience?
Brief. Ok. I studied theatre in college, mostly design and tech, but I really fell in love with playwrighting and directing. I worked, for a time, at a theatre in San Diego, getting a taste of professional theatre outside of college. After taking a bit of a break to try on an odd assortment of other professions, I naturally and inevitably return now to my first love.
Had you ever seen any version of The Naked I before?
I have not! Total rookie. But I’m getting to see plenty of it this time.
What about this production and opportunity excites you most?
Adult content, sexual situations, profanity, and potential nudity! Ok, ok, to be serious for a second. This production comes at a really interesting and transitional time in my life. I’ve been asking myself a lot of questions, searching for which box to check and which jeopardy category to fall under. There’s such a wide spectrum represented, each validated and held before the audience, saying in so many different voices: “I am human, and I will not be contained in your box!” When you grow up with only boxes, the wide open spaces are that much more exciting to explore, and that much more a shelter to feel at home in. Being a part of this queer theatre community has been affirming, comforting, and enlightening. That’s what I love about this production.
What do you hope to contribute to the show?
Honestly, one can only hope to honor the writer’s voice. I want to share my part of the larger story, without making it about me. I want the audience to see a little of themselves somewhere in the show and come away saying:”Yeah! Yeah, I’m me, and that’s beautiful!”
What have been your biggest challenges in directing for this show or with these specific pieces?
Realistically, scheduling. While most pieces have two or three actors, I have seven, and then one in the other piece. That’s the most obvious answer. Other than that, I think this whole process has been eye-opening as to the stereotyping and prejudice that happens within our own community, whether conscious of it or not. That’s what the intro really deals with. We judge, we group, we assume. For me, my goal with my actors has been to embrace all the different variations with respect and inclusiveness. My cast has done that so well. Each rehearsal, I’m more and more in love with them, and watching them together has taught me so much. We’re like a weird, awkward, funny group of uber cool nerds who have become this oddball family. We’re like the gay Brady Bunch.
More about Beckett the person…
What is your pronoun preference?
Thaaaaat’s not certain. So gender neutral at this point. They/them. Thee/thou if you want to get fancy.
If your gender identity was a food, what would it be?
Drambuie whiskey, double, on the rocks. Wait, that’s not food, is it? Ummm, Lays potato chips. “Betcha can’t have just one!”
What do you do in the world, outside of working on this production? (job/hobbies, etc.)
Well, I’m about to sound like a huge geek. I work in nuclear medicine. Yeah, you probably want to just ask in person. Other than that… I read, I write, I cook and frequent Trader Joe’s and farmer’s markets, I look for good happy hours in uptown. Basically copy and paste typical okcupid profile.
Beckett, you feel the most naked when…
Public restrooms. Getting carded. However, I got pulled over by a cop not too long ago for a headlight out (because the drunk drivers down the street were not as big of a threat….just sayin), and the cop kept calling me “sir” before finally looking at my license. Ensue blushing, stammering, and befuddled cop as he apologized and tried to explain why I was pulled over. Meanwhile, I’m grinning from ear to ear at his misstep, thinking, “Yeah. Yeah, you go on with your bad self. I’m listening. Ha. No, no I’m not, but keep going.” So that was a naked/revealing moment…but it was fun. Naked can definitely be fun.
What is your first memory of gender?
Very young, actually. Pete’s Dragon…you know, the movie. I wanted to be Pete. I would daydream and visualize myself like him, until one day, I realized that I was very much not Pete nor could I be him. For some reason, that was really difficult to swallow.
What is your most favorite accessory or article of clothing?
Shoes. Boots. Nothing defines the outfit more. I can get obsessed. It’s not healthy.
Name one of your favorite songs right now.
Sean Hayes, always and forever. His song Turn Around, Turn Me On….so much sexy.