1st Edition

Queering the Stage Inclusive Approaches to Performing Gender and Sexuality

By Adi Cabral Copyright 2025
    256 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Focal Press

    256 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Focal Press

    Queering the Stage: Inclusive Approaches to Performing Gender and Sexuality addresses a history of stereotyping and provides inclusive approaches to navigating gender and sexuality in a way that does not reduce the broad spectrum of LGBTQIA+ communities into a single monolith.

    Butch it up! Be more manly! Add a little swish! Queen out! These instructions make performers feel minimized, erased, and forced to fit in a binary that encourages underdeveloped portrayals of queer identities. This book will guide the reader in performance techniques for confidently embodying the masculine/feminine, gay/straight binaries—as concepts of chosen choreography rather than reductive prescriptions—while also providing non-binary exercises to explore and expand the use of the body, voice, heart, and mind to bring life to characters of sexual orientations and gender identities that do and do not align with the actors’ lived experiences. The reader will be presented with multiple tools for analyzing, developing, and embodying a diverse array of characters, empowering them to make their own choices when it comes to performance. While there is no “right” way to teach performance, this book will present tools rooted in trauma-informed practices that aim to prevent and undo harm in a group setting with a facilitator, or individually.

    This book is written for instructors of theatre performance and acting wishing to expand their curriculum to include queer concepts in their classroom, and actors working in the industry who want to improve their ability performing characters of diverse genders and sexualities.

    A companion website, available at www.adicabral.com/queering-the-stage, provides additional materials to support exercises throughout the book.

    1. Introduction

    Adi Cabral

    2. Should I

    Adi Cabral

    Part 1: Unlocking the Mind

    3. Inventory of Choice

    Adi Cabral

    4. Performing Beyond the Binary

    Amy Steiger

    Part 2: Expanding the Heart

    5. The (Ab)Normal Heart – (Classwork, Dramaturgy, Research)

    Raja Benz, Leo Mock, Joy Brooke Fairfield, Adi Cabral

    6. Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby

    Raja Benz, Leo Mock, Joy Brooke Fairfield

    Part 3: Choreographing Gender and Sexuality

    7. Gender Affirming Movement

    Adi Cabral and Leo Mock

    8. Embodying the Binary

    Adi Cabral and Yusef Seevers

    9. Queering the Body

    Adi Cabral and Yusef Seevers

    Part 4: Codeswitching Gender and Sexuality

    10. Owning Your Voice

    Adi Cabral and Foster Johns

    11. Binary Dialects

    Adi Cabral and Foster Johns

    12. Queering the Voice

    Adi Cabral and Foster Johns

    Part 5: Putting it Together

    13. You’ve Been Cast, Now What?

    Adi Cabral


    Adi Cabral (they/them) is the Associate Professor of Voice and Movement in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Nevada, Reno, and works professionally as a Dialect Coach, Intimacy Professional, and Audiobook Narrator. Their professional credits include productions at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Huntington Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Houston Stages, Theatre Squared, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, New Repertory Theatre, Mildred’s Umbrella Theatre Company, Stage Q, New Hazlett Theater, Hangar Theatre Company, Central Square Theatre, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and Darlinghurst Theatre. Their research and publications focus on cultural competency in performance training with a focus on Spanish accents and Queer inclusivity. They are a certified teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework, Knight-Thompson Speechwork, a Reiki Master, and a proud member of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association. For more information, visit www.AdiCabral.com