Reviewed by Eric Miles Glover
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines "masculinity" as the "quality or condition of being masculine" and "something traditionally considered to be characteristic of a male." On the other hand, the solo performance XY(T) supplements the conservative definition with a review of the masculinities that become available to a range of men--including transgendered Kestryl Lowery, the writer and performer of XY(T)--through administrations of testosterone.
Through use of humor and pathos, Lowery demonstrates the ease with which masculinity is performed through corporeal, linguistic, visual, and vocal forms of presentation of self. For example, Lowery mimics the performances of masculinity he consumes on a regular basis (performances by members of a fraternity, loved ones, a medical professional, strangers) to explore the pluralism of gender. At the same time, Lowery calls for the definition of masculinity to include bodies other than the ones the dominant culture privileges.
XY(T) calls attention to the spectacle of masculinity and demonstrates the instability of categories of gender. Kestryl Lowery gives a provocative performance that forces the theatergoer to consider the effects of a gender construct on an entire nation of people.
Presented by FRIGID New York Festival. Now through March 9, at UNDER St. Mark's, 94 St. Mark's Place. Tuesday, March 4, at 7:30 PM; Saturday, March 8, at 7:00 PM; Sunday, March 9, at 2:30 PM. $10, smarttix.com.
According to Lincoln Center's new LCT3 project at its slogan, it takes "New Audiences for New Artists." It also takes new critics, hence the establishment of Theater Talk's New Theater Corps in 2005, a way for up-and-coming theater writers and eager new theatergoers to get exposure to the ever-growing theater scene in New York City. Writers for the New Theater Corps are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in the off-off and off-Broadway theater scene, learning and giving back high-quality reviews at the same time. Driven by a passion and love of the arts, the New Theater Corps aims to identify, support, and grow the arts community, one show and one person at a time.