Antonette Rea is one formidable presence. In this show she bares her soul, and the story of her life, through poetry. It’s been a long journey for this trans* woman: from life as a middle-class husband and father to the turmoil of a gender-identity crisis to the Downtown Eastside, where she lived as a drug-addicted sex worker. But now is the moment of her triumph. She is a spoken word artist, and when she speaks you’ll be riveted.
This interdisciplinary performance, written with and directed by James Fagan Tait, and produced by the frank theatre company, covers a life of pain: the oppression of queer identity by society, the dangers of sex work and the misery of addiction. It takes a special kind of strength to break through such obstacles, and Rea’s spirit radiates from the stage as we hear her words. They’re words of anger, of fear, of passion, of humour and hope. Rea began writing poetry while working the streets; it was a way of coping. Now it is her art, to be heard by the world and, maybe, to help change it.