Introducing…Dear Woodzick

Have a burning question about gender diversity and theatre?

Introducing a new feature for The Non-Binary Monologues Project: Dear Woodzick. (It’s like Dear Sugar for queer theatre nerds and the theatre artists and administrators who want to support them.)

Ask an anonymous question, and Woodzick will post their answer to this site.

>>Follow this link to ask your question. 

On Your Island, from Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed, adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos

Letter Writer #3. Dear Sugar,

I’m thirty-four years old and I’m transgender.

I was born female, but I knew I was meant to be male for as long as I can remember. I had the usual painful childhood and adolescence in a smallish town because I was different-picked on by other kids, misunderstood by my family.

Seven years ago I told my mom and dad I intended to have gender confirmation surgery.** They were furious. They said the worst things you can imagine anyone saying to another human being, especially if that human being is your child. In response, I cut off ties with them, moved away, and made a new life living as a man. I have friends and romance in my life. I love my job. I’m happy with who I’ve become and the life I’ve made.

After years of no contact, I got an email from my parents that blew my mind. They apologized. They were sorry they never understood and now they do. They said they miss me and they love me. Sugar, they want me back.

I cried like crazy and that surprised me. I believed I didn’t love my parents anymore.

I have made it without them. I’ve created an island far away and safe from my past. I made it because I’m tough. Do I forgive them and get back in touch, or do I ignore their email and stay safe on my island? What do I do?



**The original letter read “a sex change.” The language has been updated in this post to reflect how the current vocabulary surrounding medical transition has evolved.**

Kay, from Deal Me Out, by MJ Halberstadt

KAY. (they/them, nonbinary, AFAB, early 20’s)

(buckets of irony)

It’s really all Elizabeth, she’s always set the schedule: we can go to Lewiston Mall on weekdays, but we can’t be seen there on weekends. Weekends we go to the Auburn Mall. And we can buy things on sale but not from a sale rack. Now that Josephine has her license back, we have to all go together in her car, or at the very least use the buddy system: two at a time. Now and then Elizabeth will go with one other person if Martin drops her off, but the whole point is that no one can ever arrive at the mall by themselves because if we have a hard time syncing up and finding one another we look
retarded—her words, not mine. There was a whole episode when Josephine, Elizabeth, and I were at the mall and then Olivia got dropped off and it was a total disaster. So, buddy system: never one, and never three unless one of us is out of town and it’s, like, a known indisputable fact that the fourth isn’t coming to the mall.

Elizabeth’s new thing is controlling our social media presence. She makes us send pictures to her before we post them, and we have to post at least one picture of all four of us together every week, and we can’t repeat outfits in those; she’s working on a collage or something. And I like started running out of things I wear and she was finally like “This is why we go to the mall. You have every opportunity to buy more tops.”

She lost her shit last month when I cut my hair, because usually she wants approval first and I didn’t ask. And then I told her what it’s really about and her eyes got really big and she was like “You know what, this is totally okay. We’re living in different times, and a little diversity isn’t a bad thing.” She actually wanted Marina in the group instead of Olivia so that we’d have racial diversity but not too-much because Marina’s half-whatever.

And so I was surprised that she was cool about it. But then she started changing some of the schedule and stuff, and talking about branching out. She started hanging out with Klara one-on-one which felt like an interview, especially because her name starts with K too and she’s custom-ordered so much J-O-K-E stuff for her room.

She told me we could still hang out at the mall and stuff, but that she didn’t want to keep me in the weekly group picture but we could still hang out at the Lewiston Mall and at her house, but I should hang back on weekends when they went to the Auburn Mall, and she asked me to stop visiting her at the salon because people kept asking questions and, well she said, it was “for my own good.” She “didn’t want me to feel uncomfortable.”

I said, “Elizabeth, that’s all really sweet of you to look out for me like that, but I have another new rule I was thinking of initiating,” and she was like “What’s that?” and I said, “How about I hang out with you zero days of the week, and we can talk to each other never and nowhere, for pictures, I’ll wear whatever I want and you can say nothing about it because you are not my friend. I like that schedule better.”

Context: The play concerns a board game group who meet to kick out a longstanding member. In this flashback scene, Kay (nonbinary, AFAB, early 20’s) is their high school self, catches a new friend-group up to speed about why they left their old friend group.

More info: MJHalberstadt (at) gmail (dot) com

Red Claw, from Villains Anonymous, by Lore Burns

Red Claw (they/them): Hello, my name is Red Claw and I’m a villain. It has been eight days since my last attempt at world domination…and I’m freaking bored! How the hell do you people do this? I mean, what’s-his-face, Decapitron, has supposedly been sober for five months?! I call bullshit. Is anyone actually following the creep around? Is there some sort of tracking system? How do we know he hasn’t fallen off the evil wagon? Is this seriously an honour code amongst villains?

I don’t even know what I’m doing here – I freaking love being a villain! The respect, the flexible work hours, managing a team of likeminded individuals…it’s bliss! I’m only here because the so-called ‘good’ guys managed to catch me off guard at a yoga class and slap a taser band on my ankle. I see a lot of you nodding, is that why you’re all here, too? And Miss Goody Two Shoes is the only non-villain in charge? You do realise that if we combined our evil talents we could overcome the taser issue and form a League of Villains more formidable than the world has ever seen? (silence). Wow, you desperately need me as your leader; all this hero brainwashing has clearly addled your brains. You know what? For the first time, I’m glad I wound up here. It’s proving to be a useful networking opportunity.

Context: At present this is a standalone piece, however it has been suggested I expand it and I am open to ideas and collaborations on that front. The general context is that heroes have started a rehabilitation program for captured villains, which seems to be working until Red Claw comes along and refuses to be swayed by the propaganda, instead forming a League of Villains and organising a mass break out from the facilities. Funnily enough, not all of the villains are what we in our world would call villains, but rather anyone who threatens the status quo as defined by the heroes, Red Claw wanting to abolish the gender binary being one.

Contact email: loreofphysics (at) gmail (dot) com

School Bus, by Erin Rollman

(written for a genderqueer performer) When I was in junior high, I lived only a block and a half away from school. It took minutes to get there, cut even shorter if I ducked through a hole in the fence and walked right across the small field next to the school building. But every morning I would leave home far earlier than necessary and walk 15 or so blocks in the opposite direction to catch a big yellow school bus. It seems silly to say now, but I did it in an attempt to be normal. I know, I know, but hear me out:

So many kids rode the bus. So many kids complained about riding the bus. It was a part of junior high culture and I was missing out because of the location location location of my home. I mean, I’m sure the proximity to a school is part of the reason my parents got the place. But, each morning I walked in the wrong direction in order to complain about my subsequent bus ride. And each afternoon I rushed out of the building in time to jump on the bus – unable to participate in this after school activity or that one, sometimes dashing out mid-conversation with an “ugh, bus”.

Needless to say, this did not make me ‘normal’. All it did was make my life more difficult. Of course, this should come as no surprise. Normal things – a nerve-wracking phrase, despite or maybe because of its lack of meaning – normal things are always wildly difficult. Isn’t it the case that you never feel more outside of yourself than when you are doing something you think you are supposed to do? Doing normal things is like playing a massive life-encompassing game of follow-the-leader when nobody knows who the leader is – their just sure it isn’t them.


Here are some other phrases I find nerve-wracking, only some of which have meaning:
fiscal responsibility
hang in there
life choice
truly humbling experience
crystal clear
not an exit
identifies as
and criss cross applesauce … Well, that one’s not nerve-wracking if you really just want me to sit down cross-legged. But if it comes with the assumption that I will be squirm-free and attentive, we might have a problem.


It actually gives me a little thrill that my young attempt to be normal was, in fact, very, very not normal. I don’t often ride buses at all these days. I sure as hell won’t walk out of my way to hop on an unnecessary one…

I mean that both literally and metaphorically, in case that wasn’t crystal clear.

More info: Erin Rollman is an all-around theatrical badass and incredible human. Learn more about Erin’s theatrical work at

Ash, from Poltergeist, by Alika Magas

ASH: Shift supervisor at a gay bar; an awesome kick-ass non-binary individual who knows a solid thing or two about the way the world really works. Very mature while somehow utterly inarticulate. They/Them/Theirs.

ASH. Hey Kitt, it’s me. Obviously. Hey, I, uh, well I just wanted to call and see how the

(HEAVY air quotes on this one, even if it’s not with their fingers.)

“hang out” is going. I still think you’re an idiot for doing this, so I don’t know if silence is a good thing or a bad thing and I’m not trying to like be a total queer dad-mom-parent-whatever about this or anything, I’m really not, you’re a big boy, you got this and shit like that. But. You’re always texting updates when you’re like this– Jeez. Sorry. Look at me, getting over involved in my friends again. Wow. Okay. Well, call me or text me or something? Just don’t do anything I’d tell you not to or regret or– goddamn it there I go again. I’m gonna hang up before it gets worse or the voicemail lady cuts me off. Okay. Call me back or something. Bye.

ASH. I’m so so sorry, Henry–

(A long beat. Relive the warning, the attempt, the long night in the hospital afterwards.)

–you were my regular for almost longer than Kitt’s worked there, and I– I should have known. Fuck, I was pouring that beer and… something was up, you’re always jittery but not like that and I didn’t do anything I just let you walk out of that fucking bar while I told my story and all I wanted was to get to the end. How messed up is that? You were sitting there, red flags might as well been on fire, and all I can think to myself is: damn, I hope he doesn’t make some dry joke or interrupts, he really needs to hear the end. I really need him to hear the end. But does it matter?

(Another beat.)

What matters is I was thinking that and you were…


Can we talk about something else?

ASH. Hey Kitt, it’s me. Obviously. Y’all are probably still in the air. Lucky fuckers. Still love you though, any way, I just wanted to know if y’all had a safe flight so call me when you land or something and jesus I’m doing the queer dad mom parent thing again and I still really need to learn to stop with that don’t I? I guess, guess we both do actually. Don’t tell Henry I said this, he’d probably get all defensive and stuff, kid couldn’t take a compliment even if I wrote it into a screamo song, jesus christ, but I’m proud of you two. Like a lot. My two little babies are growing up. Okay that one was intentional, I’m not that bad. I’d like to think I’m not. But… uh… yeah. So remember to do some fun things while you’re out there, kay? I’ve heard Casa Bonita is actually a real place so maybe track that shit down and send me a few pictures or something. We could video chat on the Face time maybe? Okay that is like the single most old-person parent thing that’s ever come out of my mouth so I’m just gonna hang up now before I say anything else or the stupid voicemail lady cuts me off. But, really. Have a good break, smoke a joint, don’t let Henry get too angsty and–

(The voicemail lady cuts them off)


More info: alikamagas (at) gmail (dot) com

Candy Heart, by Woodzick

WRENN (they/them, AFAB).

I’m writing this because I’m on the plane and the guy next to me is watching a documentary about Hitler and I honestly don’t know his intentions behind watching it. So, in case I die while on or getting off this flight, I wanted you to read this. I don’t know if I would be able to say any of this in person.

I get that you’re a gay guy. And I guess the thing is that on the inside I’ve always felt like I was a gay guy, too. Gay men are always the people I have been attracted to the most. The ones who break my heart the most. The “oh, if I were straight, I’d totally date you, but I’m not straight, and so….”

I am painfully aware that my outside doesn’t always match my inside, and I don’t know if it ever will in that way. I like the me I’ve become, not a man and definitely not a woman, but instead something that is both and neither at the same time.

The thing is, my heart is on the inside and my heart thinks it could be, would really like to try being with your heart and, I know, I know have the tendency to be naive and idealistic, but on some, basic, human level, isn’t that the only thing that should matter?

So here I am, in front of you, asking you if you think you could be with someone like me. Or try?

I hate being vulnerable and I hate that I keep trying at this and people either hook up with me and tell me it was a mistake or they tell me I’m a mistake and they just don’t think they could ever picture themselves being with someone like me.

I think my heart can only survive so many more of these conversations.

It takes a lot for me to be saying this to you. And, sincerely, I’m not trying to force a certain answer. I just wanted you to know that—this is not something I share lightly. It’s not something I do often.

But I’m doing it because I think you might just be worth it and it’s OK if you’re not. And it’s OK if you don’t think of me that way.

But it’s really rare that I feel this way about somebody, so I just had to try.

Narrator, from 10 Myths on the Proper Application of Beauty Products, by Buntport Theater in collaboration with Diana Dresser, Miriam Suzanne and Michael Morgan

Narrator (a trans egg):

It’s one of those mornings where you wake up, not knowing where you are in time. At some point Sam dies, but I don’t think we’re there yet. I suppose at some point, we all die, but we’re not there yet either. Have Sam and Herman melded together? Sam had a fever, and Herman sat with her through the night, and by morning they became one. That’s one story. Others say it happened chopping onions for dinner, when Sam slipped in a tad too close, and stuck. I don’t know. People seem to agree that it was something mundane. But that happens later, I think. Sam is alive and alone. Still dressing and undressing for the camera — trying to get it right. In any case, I woke up feeling like people — all of us — are made of complicated stuff. Too hard to understand or fix. So I’m screwed because I am breaking down and unfixable. And, to make matters worse, time is passing. Lots of it. Because nobody has yet figured out how to stop it in such a crisis. Someone should really get on that. So that’s the kind of morning it is. And it took forever to pull pants on over my legs because I didn’t understand what the fuck my legs even were. It’s time I get a handle on this. It’s time that there are no mornings like this. I want to wake up knowing that it’s simple: that I am made of tinfoil and paperclips. So I took initiative and looked it up. “What are people made of” I typed. And nothing is helpful. Because we are apparently made of everything: we are made of calcium, oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and phosphorus or body, mind, intellect, ego and soul or, according to a Modest Mouse song, nothing but water and shit. Or snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails if you are a little boy or sugar and spice and all things nice if you are a little girl which makes it ten times more complicated because now I am required to think of myself as something more specific than just a people — I mean, a person. (beat) Ha! A little boy, a little girl, a little people. I don’t know… fuck it if it’s that kind of day.

Bunport Theater is awesome! Check out their work and upcoming shows here!

Leader, by Lore Burns

LEADER (ze/zir or they/them)

So, this is it. We’ve come a long way, lost people we loved and fought with all our strength. And now we’re trapped, surrounded. Waiting for the end. But do we know this is the end? Sure, there are several hundred killer robots armed to their mechanical teeth breaking in here within the hour. Sure, we’re weak, wounded and completely devastated. But those machines don’t have our imagination. They have no hope or love. And I’m not going to sit here obediently and wait for them to come and slaughter us. Not while there’s a snowballs chance in hell that we can still win this. And don’t you argue with me because not one of you can see the future, can you? In the future we can do anything; in the future we might even survive. You have a choice to make. Fight until the bitter end or hand yourselves to them on a silver platter. We are the only thing standing between them and the rest of the world. And if I’m going to die, I’m going to die protecting it.

Context: This is a standalone monologue and context can be created as needed by the performer, however the basic context is that robots have taken over the earth and are maliciously killing all humans, this group are trapped in a warehouse and hopelessly outnumbered.

More info: Contact loreofphysics (at) gmail (dot) com

If I Were A Cis Man, a parody by Sandy Sahar Gooen

In 2019, The Non-Binary Monologues Project wants to expand our offerings to include scenes and musical theatre selections. If you have submissions in either of these categories, please send them our way!

Here are the lyrics and video of Sandy Sahar Gooen’s edit of “If I Were a Rich Man,” from Fiddler on the Roof. Enjoy!

If I were a cis man
(Insert yeshivish riffing)
All day long I’d ——
Were I a cisgender man

Wouldn’t have to work hard
To try to pass or live or even hide which school that I am from
If I had a Y instead of X biddy biddy biddy chromosome

I’d take up space but wait don’t worry not too much just more than currently I can. You know, that thing called actual self esteem. As things are now it’s not like I can really do much cept wait to be seen as a real man. Just being accepted is the dream.

I would go out at night
Not worry about safety
Why would I bother with all that
Since I’d be much closer to 6 feet tall
No one would ask me “when are you having kids” “when are you getting a dick” and other very personal things that they don’t deserve to know. I don’t care for that shit at all- oy.


If I were Cis I’d have the privilege I lack to go to ANY synagogue and pray. And not be scared of judgment—- how great is this?
I’d like to add that I’d still count for a minyan if I were Cis but still completely gay. So long as I had you know- a bris.

The most important men in town wouldn’t talk down to me. They would actually respect me. Just like any other guy
They’d say shalom Sahar
What do you think sandy
Instead of sitting blankly there, rolling their eyes
(Chazanut/yeshivish riffing)
And it won’t make one bit of difference if I answer right or wrong
When you’re Cis they think you really know.

I would be able to use my voice for the better to stop toxic masculinity and uplift all my siblings, big and small.
I would be heard and make sure others were listened to other than just guys like me… that would be the sweetest thing of all. Oy.


Lord who made the world in just six days
You made me stick out from theatre gays
Would it spoil some vast eternal plan
Were I a halakhic man!