American Theatre is proud to be the venue for Theatrical Mustang, an independently produced podcast from actor-writer-activist Woodzick. Each month they’ll bring listeners interviews with unbridled talent and cultural trailblazers from across the country.
This month they talk to Sav Souza, a queer and trans performer and writer working to expand the theatrical canon with joyful, sexy, and tender queer and trans stories. Their musical Retrograde was developed in 2018 in the Polyphone Festival of New Works, and their play Father//Daughter was developed at Fresh Ground Pepper’s BRB Artists Retreat. Their newest project, We Start in Manhattan, a two-person musical written by and starring Sav and their real-life partner, Ariella Serur, has been granted two developmental opportunities for summer 2023 at Powerhouse at Vassar and Live and In Color. Some of Sav’s performance credits include: 1776 (Broadway, ART, national tour); Lempicka (Williamstown Theatre Festival); The Elementary Spacetime Show (Philly Fringe, Playwrights Downtown); Normativity and The Material World (the Polyphone Festival).
They discuss the value of TikTok for building and sustaining audiences for emerging queer art, as well as the importance of theatres programming new works by trans and queer artists. Sav emphasizes that not all queer and trans stories need to focus on trauma, coming out, or identity struggles. They explain that it is both possible and profitable to center queer characters who are joyful and secure.
As for their Broadway debut, Sav says that reviving 1776 with a cast of female, trans, and non-binary actors, including their partner, has affirmed them in reclaiming, and protesting with, their trans American experience onstage. Throughout this process Sav has been able to collaborate with trans and queer designers on their opening night attire, as well as advocate to include gender-affirming information in the production’s program. Both Sav and Ariella’s opening night Broadway outfits were designed by Evie Schuckman (@gubbins.nyc), with harnesses made by Fern (@Goldencalfleather), and their opening night L.A. outfits were design by Mars Wright (@mars.wright on instagram & TikTok). Sav also highlights Erin Reed’s reporting on trans legislation as a vital resource for staying active and informed. Stay up to date with Sav at by following them @saaaavv or www.savsouza.com.
You can also listen to the episode here.
The Theatrical Mustang podcast is edited by CJ Higgins (they/them). Music by The Morgens using Citizen DJ Project, Library of Congress, National Jukebox.
This podcast is dedicated to the memory of Barton Cole, who coined the phrase “Theatrical Mustang.”
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