Transfigurations — Transgressing Gender in the Bible

PRESENTED BY: Meaningful Movies Olympia
6:30 PM, Thursday, September 19, 2019 PST
Location: Olympia (click for map)

In this one-person play, Quaker theatrical performance activist & biblical scholar Peterson Toscano unearths transgender Bible characters – those who do not fit in the gender binary, and who in transgressing and transcending gender, find themselves at the center of some of the Bible’s most important stories.

Peterson Toscano has shaken up Bible academics and received high praise for his ground-breaking, genre-bending, gender blending Bible scholarship. By unearthing the stories of gender-variant people in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, Toscano’s film deepens well-known (and lesser-known) Bible stories and presents an array of Bible characters with an array of genders.

We will watch the one hour performance and lecture version.

Written and performed by Peterson Toscano.


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


In a word, Peterson is phenomenal. I was hooked in fifteen minutes. I sat there, watching him bring moments of scripture to life in ways I had not considered, and scrambled to figure out how soon I could bring him to my campus. It turns out, he’s even more delightful in person. His compassion matched by conviction and a wickedly smart sense of humor, a rare combination, make interactions with Peterson memorable, uplifting, and often life-changing.
-Dr. Jennifer G Bird, PhD, Bible scholar, speaker, and author.


As a Jewish Studies scholar, educator, and activist for TBLG inclusion in Jewish communities, it was a thrill to see confident transgender characters from the Hebrew scriptures given flesh via the performance activism of Peterson Toscano –and, more importantly, to recognize through his performance that those characters fulfilled social roles in Jewish communities as gender variant folk. Bring Transfigurations to your shul and create an opportunity to dialogue about present-day transgender people in Jewish communities.
-Noach Dzmura, Editor, Balancing on the Mechitza: Transgender in Jewish Community, and Director, Jewish Transitions


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 Scofield, Transgender actor, artist, solo performer & diversity speaker.


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.
-Dale Martin, PhD Woolsey Professor of Religious Studies, Yale University. Author of Sex and the Single Savior


More about the film on Peterson Toscano’s website:

Transfigurations free Study Guide (PDF format)

Event posters:

Transfigurations-poster-MeaningfulMoviesOlympia-September-19-2019 (8.5″ x 11″ page, PDF file, 644 KB)

Transfigurations-poster-4up-MeaningfulMoviesOlympia-September-19-2019 (4 quarter page fliers on 8.5″ x 11″ page, PDF file, 1 MB)

Special Guests: A panel of local faith community leaders

Sponsors: Olympia Friends Meeting

Facebook Page:

Release Year: 2017

Running Time: 1 hour

Director: Samuel Neff

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