Peterson performing at Swarthmoore College
Since 2003 Peterson Toscano wrote and performed original one-person comedies about a variety of social justice issues. These days, Peterson gives most of his attention to audio projects and helping other people produce podcasts and web content. While he is still happy performing live, he limits himself to no more than four live performances each year. You can see a listing of current live show options below.
The good news is that two of Peterson's most popular work are now available as films.
Peterson is best known for the searing and hilarious satire in his autobiographical play, Doin' Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House--How I Survived the Ex-Gay Movement. It uses comedy to explore Peterson's time in the infamous Love in Action conversion therapy program in Memphis, TN.
After five years touring Homo No Mo in the US and Europe, he had it released as a film that was shot by Alex Skitolsky, and edited by the director, Morgan Jon Fox.
In 2007 Peterson premiered Transfigurations--Transgressing Gender in the Bible, and and through perfoming it at seminaries, festivals, and universities, shook up Bible scholarship and received high praise for his groundbreaking, genre-bending, gender-blending Bible interpretations. By unearthing the gender stories of people in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, Toscano’s one-person performance deepens well-known (and lesser-known) Bible stories and presents an array of Bible characters with an array of genders.
In 2017, Transfigurations was released as a film directed by Samuel Neff, and was screened at film festivals, including Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival, San Antonio LGBT International Film Festival, True Colors Film Festival, and at the 2017 Queer Kampala International Film Festival, which had to be postponed a few days after a police raid interrupted the festival just as Peterson's film was about to be screened.. It was then released on DVD two beautifully filmed, high definition versions of Peterson’ groundbreaking work—a performance lecture (60 min) and the full dramatic play (45 min). You can watch it on your own or with a group for entertainment, study, or inspiration.
Peterson partnered with Barclay Press to distribute the Transfigurations' DVD and the online digital version through the MeetingHouse.xyz imprint. Barclay Press/Meetinghouse.xyz also have the rights to distribute a digital online version of Doin' Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House. See MeetingHouse.xyz for details.
Praise for Transfigurations
"In a word, Peterson is phenomenal. I sat there, watching him bring moments of scripture to life in ways I had not considered"
-Dr. Jennifer G Bird, PhD, Bible scholar, speaker, author, and co-host of the Wild Olive podcast.
"Toscano brings a deep reverence for the Biblical text with him into his exploration of gender transgression. This play is mesmerizing and compels the viewer to see well known Bible stories in a brave new light."
-Nadia Bolz-Weber, author of Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint.
"Toscano's excellent theater chops morph characters and identities in that world-changing way only performance allows. His writing and philosophy educate and loosen the tightest knots of queer and religious entanglements. But it's his heart, which his engaging presence radiates, that will pull you in, warm you up, and leave you pleading for an encore."
-Scott Turner Schofield, Transgender actor, artist, solo performer & trans consultant.
" A brilliant theologian and playwright, the work of Peterson Toscano not only shifted my own connection to biblical texts, but helped me reimagine how working within communities of faith might be possible. A necessary artist to know for LGBTQ activists, environmentalists, faith leaders and humans everywhere."
-J Mase III, Black/trans/queer poet. Check out the graphic novel Josephine--a trans story of Biblical proportions.
A Comic exposé
Nine characters, one actor, and an unforgettable journey.
Current Live Presentations
Peterson still does occasional live performances about climate change and the intersection of LGBTQ issues, faith, and justice. Contact Peterson for more details.
Everything is Connected
Peterson shares three completely different stories that have nothing to do with each other, and with a simple theatrical move, he connects them all together. See Peterson morph into multiple comic characters as he travels to the past and the future. It is weird, wonderful, and surprisingly inspirational.
The Weight of Carbon Dioxide and Chihuahuas
There's something funny about climate change, especially when Peterson takes it on. Through stories and audience interaction, Peterson unpacks climate change in a whole new way. You will leave invigorated, determined, and with a lot more faith in fellow earthlings.