On March 24, following the 7:00 PM performance of BOY, the powerful new play by Anna Ziegler, Rebecca Jordan-Young, Tow Associate Professor for Distinguished Scholars and Chair of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Barnard College; Darcy Kelley, Harold Weintraub Professor of Department Biological Sciences at Columbia University; and Linsay Firman, Director of Play Development at EST, Associate Director of the EST/Sloan Project, and Director of the current production of BOY, will all join journalist and moderator Robin Henig for what promises to be a lively discussion about the issues the play raises concerning gender identity, the sexual development of children, and how the treatment of children of ambiguous sexuality has changed since the time of the play.
Inspired by a true story, Anna Ziegler's BOY explores the tricky terrain of finding love amidst the confusion of sexual identity, and the inextricable bond between a doctor and patient. In the 1960s, a well-intentioned doctor convinces the parents of a male infant to raise their son as a girl after a terrible accident. Two decades later, the repercussions of that choice continue to unfold. A story of the blinding power of love and the complicated mystery of one’s perception of self, BOY is a moving play that calls into question how we become who we are.
The World Premiere of BOY is a co-production between Keen Company and The Ensemble Studio Theatre through the EST/Sloan Project, EST's partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to develop new plays "exploring the worlds of science and technology."
About the Panelists
Rebecca Jordan-Young is the Tow Associate Professor for Distinguished Scholars and Chair of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Barnard College. She is the author of Brain Storm: The Flaws in the Science of Sex Differences (Harvard University Press 2010), and more than three dozen articles and book chapters at the intersection of science and social differences, especially gender, sexuality, and race. Jordan-Young holds a Ph.D. in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University. She teaches such courses as Science and Sexualities; Introduction to Women and Health; Pleasures and Power (an Introduction to Sexuality Studies); and the Senior Seminar in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
Darcy Kelley is the Harold Weintraub Professor of Department Biological Sciences at Columbia University. Dr. Kelley’s research focuses on the sexual differentiation of the nervous system and the neurobiology of vocal communication. Her laboratory studies the South African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, a species with a particularly rich vocal repertoire that is specific for each sex. Females sing to males, and males sing to females and to other males. She seeks to determine how these vocal signals are produced by the nervous system and how acoustic information is decoded and acted upon. Professor Kelley has a strong commitment to bringing science to the general public through public lectures and via consulting for The EST/Sloan Project and science-themed films sponsored by the Sloan Foundation.
Linsay Firman is Director of Play Development at EST and Associate Director of the EST/Sloan Project. In addition to BOY, at EST she has directed the World Premiere of Lucas Hnath’s Isaac’s Eye and the NY Premiere of Anna Ziegler's Photograph 51, as well as EST Marathon plays by Rachel Bonds, Garrett M. Brown, Darcy Fowler and Jose Rivera. Other NYC productions include Chairs and a Long Table by Han Ong (Ma-Yi Theatre), Perdita by Pierre Diennet (Lion Theater), Anne Washburn’s Apparition (chashama), Joy Tomasko’s Unfold Me, Catherine Trieschmann’s Crooked and Heather, Lynn MacDonald’s Pink (all at Ariel Tepper’s Summer Play Festival). Linsay began working in new play development as the Associate Director of Soho Rep, where she was a founder and chair of Soho Rep's Writer/Director Lab.
About the Moderator
Journalist and science writer Robin Marantz Henig is the author of nine science books and president of the National Association of Science Writers. A contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, Robin has also written for Scientific American, The Washington Post, Discover and numerous women’s magazines. Her book on the first test-tube baby, Pandora’s Baby (2004), won the Outstanding Book Award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Most recently, Robin collaborated with her daughter Samantha Henig to write Twentysomething: Why Do Young Adults Seem Stuck? (2014).
BOY opened on March 10 and will run through April 9 at the Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row.