Thursday June 13, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- In celebration of June Pride Month, Green Mountain Crossroads presents Peterson Toscano’s newest play, "Jesus Had Two Daddies" on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., at the Hooker-Dunham Theater & Gallery, 139 Main St. Admission is $10 based on a "sliding scale."

"Jesus Had Two Daddies" is a ridiculously serious look at scripture written and performed by Toscano, who is a comic performance artist and activist. He explores the bizarre, quirky and at times disturbing world of the Bible. Drawing on his skills as a character actor and his unconventional Bible scholarship, Toscano unpacks well-known and lesser-known Bible stories.

In addition to using comedy in bringing new insights to ancient Biblical passages, Toscano also takes his audience back in time to when he lived as a closeted man desperately trying to de-gay himself through various ex-gay treatments and many prayers. Looking at his former marriage, his Pentecostal church experiences and his own trajectory of faith,

Toscano expertly weaves together personal and Biblical narratives to create an entertaining and thought-provoking theater experience.

Believers and non-believers alike will welcome his hilarious and brilliantly insightful re-interpretations of ancient stories. The creator of the plays, "Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House" and "I Can See Sarah Palin from my Window," Toscano is internationally renowned for his unique brand of performance art. Subversive, smart and so much fun, Toscano is cracking open hearts and minds.

Dale Martin, Woolsey Professor of Religious Studies at Yale University, comments that "Peterson Toscano’s work combines astute readings of the Bible with great story-telling and comedy. He offers interpretations of the texts and insights that even experienced biblical scholars haven’t seen before. When portrayed by Toscano, Bible stories and characters come to life with wit, sympathy, and humor."

As someone who lived nearly 20 years as an evangelical Christian, Toscano connects regularly with evangelical and conservative Christians around lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender concerns. Now a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quaker), Toscano lives in Sunbury, Penn., with his husband, Lambda Award winning author, Glen Retief and their two cats Wally and Emma.

Toscano’s performance is part of the month-long celebration of LGBTQ Pride, honored annually in June, memorializing the Stonewall Riots.

In addition to this live performance, Toscano’s husband Retief will read from his award-winning memoir, "The Jack Bank: A Memoir of a South African Childhood" on Friday, June 14, at 7:30 p.m., at The Brattleboro Cheese Shop & Café, 39 Main St. Retief will also conduct a memoir writing workshop, "Turning Life into Art: The Craft and Healing of Literary Memoir" on Saturday, June 15, from 2 to 4 p.m., at The Marlboro College Graduate School, 28 Vernon St. Cost is $10 and reservations can be made at www.greenmountaincrossroads.org

Green Mountain Crossroads is a local LGBTQ community nonprofit bringing events and workshops to the area.

For more information, contact Debbie Potter at greenmountaincrossroads@gmail.com.