Devised theater genealogies too often take shape around a set of primarily white, Western “ensemble-based” theater companies and training schools working in modes that emerged in Europe and the United States in the 1960s and 1970s in response to contemporary political circumstances and eventually found acceptance in the high-brow, avant garde cultural milieu. This cowritten, copresented article works to trouble that narrative by taking up the forms of queer and trans cocreated performance associated with underground queer spaces that have been excluded from histories of devised theater (drag, burlesque, ballroom, cabaret, parties, etc.). Using three case studies written in three different voices—the Chicago Kings, Sean Dorsey Dance and Fresh Meat Productions, and The Fly Honey Show—we examine what an alternative genealogy of devising, one that centers queer and trans artists, might look like.

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