by Orion Lee Risk

Directed by Sy Bedrick

GenderTalks depicts real conversations between trans, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming people speaking candidly about their experiences of gender-identity during COVID-19. What follows documents a series of live Zoom calls that took place during the Summer of 2020, with invisible audiences of any gender listening in. Dialoging pairs, many connecting for the first time, were from Dane County, Wisconsin, the home of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and Black Hawk County, Iowa—a community ravaged by the epidemic, spiked by an outbreak at a local meat-processing plant. The play remixes the original virtual conversations into a real-life collage of euphoria and dysphoria, longing and joy, isolation and connection. 

the cast

Amir Levi (he/she/they) as Tris

Alice Rose is a transgender comic fueled by third-wave coffee and estradiol. A storyteller at heart, Alice combines introspective personal narratives with larger observations to create an intimate comedy experience. The creator of Comic Sans Productions, Alice oversees the production of several live and virtual events highlighting queer and marginalized performance artists, and is a strong advocate for inclusivity and accessibility in the Canadian comedy industry. She has opened for Colin Mochrie, and was recently nominated for an I Heart Jokes award. Alice has produced and hosted shows for JFL42 and TO SketchFest, and has also been seen on CTV Your Morning and Netflix's Designated Survivor.

Alice Rose (she/they) as Maple

Amir Levi. LA Based Performer & Activist. Likes to use all the pronouns at the same time. You can catch their one-person musical on YouTube, on theblanktheatre’s channel: Nathan C. Jones: A Love Story?. TV: “Speechless,” “Brooklyn 99,” “New Girl,” “The Middle,” “Casual,” “Transparent,” “Game Shakers,” “2 Broke Girls.” Film: “Head¬-Tie,” “Courting Chaos,” “Special Needs.” IG: @theamirlevi.

Briar Essex (they/he) as Willow

Briar Essex is a Masters student in English and Gender Studies at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. Before that they lived in Philly, where they did a lot of college theater. He really missed irresponsibly spending hours at rehearsal when he should have been working, and is incredibly grateful to Orion, Sy, Cindy, and the entire GenderTalks cast for making that possible without ever leaving the apartment.

C McCabe (they/them) as Finn

C McCabe (they/them) is happy that you are here! They are based in Chicago and have recently worked with companies such as The Kennedy Center, Shakespeare Theatre Company, and Actors Theatre of Louisville. They were a recipient of the 2019 SDC Award. Their dreams are often full of love and koala bears.

Jake Lucas (they/them) as Albie

Jake Lucas is a queer, nonbinary artist and educator in Philadelphia working in devising, improv comedy, and directing. They are currently teaching play with Playworks, after wrapping Essential with the DCTC and filming the world premier of Salerno. Jake has previously worked with Pseudonym Productions, American Immersion Theater, and the Philadelphia Improv Theater.

Lee Harrison Daniel (they/them) as Theo

Lee Harrison Daniel is a New York based playwright, producer, and occasional performer interested in queer magical realism and experimental plays that explore all the “in betweens” of young adulthood. After growing up just outside of Detroit, MI, Lee moved to New York in 2017 to pursue a degree in playwriting and new media at Marymount Manhattan College. Since then, they have interned at The Tank NYC and worked as a Core Company apprentice at The Orchard Project. They are currently a creative producer at First Kiss Theatre Company. Their plays have been produced by Water House Collective, First Kiss Theatre Company and The Masked Collective, and they have performed in several student-written plays at Marymount Manhattan College.

Lindsay Head (they/them) as Rich

Lindsay collaborated on/performed in Obie Award winner Andrew Schneider’s “AFTER” (The Public) & “NERVOUS/SYSTEM” (BAM), Bessie Award winner Faye Driscoll’s “THANK YOU FOR COMING: PLAY” (BAM, ICA Boston, MCA Chicago, TBA Portland, Philly Fringe), Agnes Borinsky’s “BRIEF CHRONICLE: BOOKS 6-8” Dir. Gus Heagerty (Access Theater), and more. TV: Mysteries at the Museum (Travel Channel), The Box with Jacqueline (Amazon Prime). @yeslikeyourhead

Nico Pang (they/them) as Orion

Nico Pang is a queer and trans Asian American writer, facilitator, and cultural organizer based in Boston. Nico is a member of the Asian American Playwrights Collective and was part of Company One’s Season 21 PlayLab Unit. With a background in spoken word poetry and youth work, Nico is committed to honoring and celebrating their communities through writing, theatremaking, and education.

Stephanie G. Galindo (she/they) as Maple

The enjoyment of being able to share different emotions with the audience is grand. Born and raised in East Los Angeles, California has brought me honor and joy in my existence and culture. Being a drag king (he/they) brings such knowledge and I continue to learn about the queer community. Tlazcamati [muchas gracias]!

Zo Tipp (they/he) as Birdy

the production team

Orion Lee Risk they/them (Playwright)

Highlights of Orion's theatrical work include crafting the documentary script GenderTalks, creating the project design for TransTheatreFest–Madison, and producing and directing as founding artistic director of Scene D Theatre Project. During their seven years as resident assistant director with Lampost Theatre Company, Orion taught workshops in mime, character building, and physical expression. Orion graduates this spring with a Masters in Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Sy Bedrick they/them (Director)

Sy is a special effects artist, director, and producer. Recently, with queer theater group, Water House Collective, Sy has produced two seasons of experimental queer play festivals. In the September 2020 virtual festival, they also edited, directed, and built puppets for some of the digital plays. Their sfx work spans from music videos, to Off Broadway musicals, to short and feature length films, as well as television. They hold a BFA in directing from the Tisch School of the Arts, (NYU) and a certificate in Mastery of Make-up Artistry from The Makeup Designory. Their directing work can be viewed on and their sfx on

Cindy Wade they/them (Stage Manager)

Cindy Wade (Stage Manager): Cindy is an alum of Plymouth State University and The Juilliard School Professional Apprenticeship Program, focusing in stage management. Their most recent credits include: Flash Acts Festival, Forum for Cultural Engagement (SM); Black Snow and Bright Half Life, The Juilliard School (ASM); Annie Jr., West Side YMCA (PSM); Taming of the Shrew, Love’s Labor’s Lost, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare & Company (PSM). They are excited about being a-part-of and sharing this project, as it has brought a delightful community of LGBTQIA+ people together to create art around the gender/identity/etc. conversations we have and experience every day.

Bonnie Ruble (they/them) Dramaturg

Bonnie's main job is being a freelance stage manager located in Cedar Falls, IA. They focus and are interested in theatre education, musicals, and new age works. Additionally, they like to direct, teach and design in theatre. They are happy to continue working in the theatre while the art world has been on hold for so long.