In this issue of CS Grid, Topdog/Underdog Dramaturge Jordan Laffrenier touches on the relationship between brothers Booth and Lincoln and how their stories echo the realities of many. Jordan also offers insight on acclaimed playwright Suzan-Lori Parks and what she has said about plays’ ability to rewrite history while navigating between theatre and real life.
The Human Measure team is in the house at the Berkeley Street Theatre!
In this edition of CS Grid, we take you behind the stage to hear from dancers, Jas Lin and B Gosse. We learn what makes this production unique to them, working with Cassils and the team and what they hope audiences will take away from this performance.
Can you introduce yourselves and your roles in Human Measure?
Jas Lin: My name is Jas and I am a dancer in Human Measure.
B Gosse: My name is B Gosse and I am a transfemme non-binary art director, designer, and movement artist. I am one of the dancers in Human Measure.
What does Human Measure mean to you?
Jas Lin: This process has been so special to me– I've never been part of a production that brought me this much ease and belonging, which really supports me in showing up, being present, and sharing generously.
B Gosse: Human Measure is more than an opportunity to dance and collaborate with some incredibly talented artists, but a moment to dive deeper into transness, community, camaraderie, and self love. It’s been a tool to navigate my own body and how it’s shared, observed, perceived, honored and ritualized. Together we’ve created a center where we can turn our thick skin outward as we recharge and reconnect and craft a narrative that we can perform collectively, and wield individually beyond the show. This piece has evolved through violence and anger into an event of love, pleasure, and strength that I could not be happier to perform.
How does it feel working with Cassils?
Jas Lin: Working with an entirely gender non-conforming cast without a doubt allows for this comfort and connection, and also, Cassils and Jasmine just attract and facilitate this kind of energy and working environment.
B Gosse: I cannot say enough good things about my experience working with Cassils. They approach every aspect of this project with clarity and intention, while keeping space for collaboration and experimentation. They are eager to hear everyone’s voice and make sure everyone is represented in a way that feels positive and cared for. For me, I feel like they’ve taken on a mentor-like role these past few years where I can share my outside work with them and lean into their wealth of knowledge and support. I hope to continue working with them on anything I can.
What do you hope audiences will take away from this performance?
Jas Lin: I hope the audience can be present with us, and feel open to a full spectrum of emotion and experience.
Why is it important and how does it feel to be performing with other gender non-conforming dancers?
Gosse: Most of the performance work I’ve done has been in the commercial or entertainment space, and few of the jobs have been as genuine or supportive as what Human Measure has done. Usually trans and gnc folk are tokenized or invited to perform, only to be disrespected and glossed over. Three years ago, I would never have imagined performing nude in front of an audience, but because I feel so much strength throughout this process, dancing alongside my dearest friends and siblings, I am excited to share my body for this piece, and show that trans artists deserve space in theaters, dance companies, art galleries, and films. There is so much power in this energy we all share.