Man in Box

Man in Box

Friday, June 02, 2017

my monologue "Becoming a Man" has been chosen for the Boston Actors Theater Summer Play Festival 2017

My monologue about adolescent boys practicing the arts of enforcing gender conformity and social domination has been selected as one of eight short plays for inclusion in the Boston Actors Theater Summer Play Festival 2017.  There will be eleven performances between June 9th and June 25th.   

The producers have described the piece this way: 

Becoming a Man
by Charles Knight

directed by Joey Pelletier

featuring: Chester Domoracki, Eva Bilick, Miranda Reilly, Meg Anchukaitis and Marie Thompson

Becoming a Man tells the story of a struggle for personal dignity and survival during traumatic assault and concludes with important insight into how the decision is made through life experience to fight for rights for all.

More information about the short play festival:

I was the victim of this assault in high school when I was 14 or 15 in the early 1960s.  The assault happened without warning and I had no idea that I would be picked as the "designated deviant" in an almost ritualized "play" constructed (with an unknown degree of intentionality) to affirm the egos and dominance of the perpetrators and to demonstrate to an audience of other youths the danger of any gender non-conformity they might be inclined to perform.

When I joined a monologue writing class forty five years later I thought of this incident as a sort of bullying or hazing.  During that class I was assured by other writers, most of whom had suffered much more violent assaults, that my experience also constituted sexual assault.

My experience was of the type and in the range of ordinary assaults that boys experience growing up -- these most often perpetrated by other boys.  Teenage boys are aware of the social pressure and the adult expectations that they will compete for place in social dominance hierarchies.  Gender behavior (including sexuality) and gender differentiation are principal locations in which these hierarchies are learned and structured.

I now strongly believe that it is important to help men first recall these assaults (which most boys experience to some degree of severity and lasting effect) and then speak and write about them.  This process can have a liberating effect for men who too often are taught to bury the harm done to them in support of gender conformity and for the cause of sustaining relations of domination.

The Boston Actors Theater Summer Play Festival 2017: Fight for Your Rights will open Friday June 9th with eleven shows running through June 25th.  The venue is the Boston Playwrights’ Theater at 949 Commonwealth Ave., Boston. 

I hope you will consider going!