Most people would probably find the topic of a transgender-anything difficult to follow at best and impossible to relate to at worst. But She Was My Brother is truly a fantastic play. Paying homage to the great tradition of the theatrical arts by seamlessly interacting with the audience, the actors, the set and the story which all make light work of providing that imaginative quality that guides the audience in and is sometimes lacking in bigger productions.
Set in the smaller Studio Theater at the Rose Wagner the audience sits practically on the stage. There's no problem seeing and the action is right in front of you the entire time. The set, a gauze wrapped moon/sun set above a pueblo, embraces its theatrical nature and provides a sense of whimsy. She Was My Brother draws the line between entertainment and an experience by operating on a series of levels so that anyone, from the English major sitting in the back analyzing the dialogue and the story for parallels to modern history, to the theater-goer looking for something different, isn't disappointed.
The play, partially based on real life events, tells a complex story of the love a man and a woman have for a transgender Zuni Indian. Reexamining and challenging notions about male and female identities Plan-B's production succeeds where another company might have failedâ€”thanks to the theater company relying entirely on talent rather than hype and expensive sets and costumes.
The actors slide easily into their roles with costumes that serve only to compliment their skill. The set recalls the Shakespearean era when great costumes and flawless acting were all that were needed to create a great production and provide just enough detail to create an independent world.
Julie Jensen's regional premier of She As My Brother is playing through November 7 at the Studio Theatre, Rose Wagner.
Visit Planbtheatre.org for more information.