a new forum play
inspired by lgbtq+ youth
ABOUT THE SHOW
Inspired by LGBTQ+ youth in San Diego, Danny is a transgender high schooler who makes the brave decision to pursue their true identity. With music and storytelling, audiences witness his coming of age, as Danny moves to a new school in search of belonging. Along that journey of self-discovery, audiences meet Danny's family, teachers, friends, and classmates -- who are forced to face their own assumptions and bias. Designed to allow high school youth and their communities to consider the complexities of transphobia, Danny's Story initially ends in disaster before audiences embark on an empowering journey to alter the outcomes of the play itself.
The show is based on Augusto Boal's model of Forum Theater. A genre of performance rarely seen in San Diego, Forum Theater was developed so that audiences might explore tangible ways to change the world in which we live. During the show, audiences are challenged to find new ways of supporting and empowering the central characters, encouraging young people to act on behalf of themselves or their peers when they experience injustice. This timely and ultimately hopeful play offers communities an opportunity to navigate this difficult but important conversation during a time of increasing visibility and vulnerability.
Danny's Story includes mature subject matter and is recommended for ages 14 and up. The world premiere production was produced by Blindspot Collective in partnership with Diversionary Theatre.
In December 2019, Blindspot Collective brought Danny’s Story to schools throughout San Diego County, giving students an opportunity to learn about transgender identities, bullying prevention, and how to be an upstander. We collaborated with 12 schools, 4 of which were Title I schools, serving over 650 students in pre-show workshops, and over 1,250 students during performances.
If you wish to know more about the show or are interested in bringing the production to your school and community, please email us at:
The show toured San Diego County in 2018 and 2019.
MEET THE ARTISTS
Directed by Blake McCarty
Written by Catherine Hanna Schrock
Stage Manager: Rebeca Elliott
Music Arrangements: Andrew Walters
Featuring Christian Contreras, Blake McCarty, Lilia Porter,
Jack Mason-Brase, Andrew Walters, and Sofia Zaragoza
Devised with Edward Elliott, Christian Contreras, Jack Mason-Brase, Blake McCarty, Alex Perez, Wilfred Paloma, Lilia Porter, Andrew Walters, Sofia Zaragoza, and other anonymous contributors
Performances are available for schools and community organizations.
The production is scheduled to tour in November or December 2019.
View the School Guide for more information and details about booking.
FREquently asked questions
What is Forum Theater?
Established in the early 1970s by Brazilian director and activist Augusto Boal, Forum Theater is one of the most popular forms of Theater of the Oppressed. In Forum Theater, actors present a short play in which the protagonist experiences a conflict or injustice, and ultimately fails to reach a goal in their life. Then the Joker, the narrator and facilitator of the play, engages the audience in a conversation and invites them to change the outcome of the play. The actors begin the play again and audience members are given the opportunity to simply say, “STOP!” when they wish to change the action in the play. As audience members stop the play, they are invited to imagine a new choice that could have been made in that moment and to roleplay an action that would create a better result for the protagonist.
Is the show appropriate for my child?
Due to the sensitive subjects of the play, the show is most appropriate for high school-aged youth or children ages 11-13 who are accompanied by parents or guardians. For school performances we recommend the production for high schools.
Danny's Story was created to support youth and families in developing empathy and understanding of transgender individuals, and to consider how peers can ally with youth who are targeted and oppressed because of their gender identity, sexual orientation or any other factor that might marginalize a young person from their peers.
While there is a clear bully and victim in the play, the intention and the design is not to demonize any one character, but to learn how to understand, respect, and lift up all the characters involved. The performance paves the way for youth to critically consider their role and responsibility in responding to peer-to-peer violence whenever it shows up in real life.
How will you navigate difficult conversations around race and difference?
Discussing injustices and engaging in politically controversial subjects is challenging. Blindspot Collective is committed to using performance to create spaces for communities to navigate these difficult conversations. It is our deeply held belief that art and truthful storytelling can support communities in building bridges and deepening understanding. We are trained to support creative, thoughtful, and gentle processes.
We recognize that there is a level of risk in exploring challenging topics. We anticipate that these conversations could cause some discomfort and as such we encourage schools and families to be prepared to continue this dialogue together after the show. In the words of Augusto Boal, "It is not the place of theater to show the correct path, but only to offer the means by which paths may be examined." We are humbled to initiate this journey with you, and hope you will continue the journey together after the our programming is complete.
Additionally, we have created some tools to cultivate and support a safe space during our programming. Our Teaching Artists will come to classrooms prior to each show to lead an interactive pre-show lesson to prepare youth in the themes and vocabulary from the show. After the program, Blindspot will offer schools a free Study Guide for teachers and counselors to continue to engage students after the show.
How long is the show?
The show is approximately 90 minutes and does not have an intermission.
Blindspot Collective develops artistic programming to illuminate voices, communities, and stories in the blindspot
of our society.
Danny's Story is available for performances at schools and community centers in San Diego.
If you have questions, please contact us at