In The Tall Grass
Bishop Arts Theatre Center, Dallas, USA, 2017
Irma P. Hall
In The Tall Grass is a verbatim play written in response to the murder of Shade Schuler, a 22-year-old transgender woman whose body was found dumped in a field in the medical district of Dallas in July 2015.
Shade’s story is set against the backdrop of wider atrocities across the US, which saw at least 23 trans or gender-nonconforming people murdered in 2015 alone – more than the total number of trans murders than in any other year that advocates had recorded. Tragically, this number looks set to surpass itself each year.
In the wake of Shade’s murder, the play focuses on a community who are left asking ‘why’, and fearing who could be next. Told through first-hand testimonies of transgender women of color in Dallas, In The Tall Grass explores the circumstances, which force many of them to exist in the underworld – ignored by society, cut off from support and legal systems; and condemned for what is ironically known as 'survival sex work'.
A NOTE ON THE WORLD PREMIERE PRODUCTION
“There is a sense of urgency about this project that we couldn't ignore, especially given our political climate. A project of this magnitude very seldom comes along in a theatre’s lifespan.”
Teresa Coleman Wash
Executive Artistic Director
Bishop Arts Theatre Center
"COMPELLING AND MOVING! A play that brings the darker raw experiences of poor transgender women of color to light in a vital, gritty platform."
"GROUNDBREAKING... and devastatingly relevant!"
"PROVOCATIVE – Well written, produced, and performed, leaving no uncomfortable stone unturned"
North Dallas Gazette
"PROFOUNDLY MOVING - Wisdom, compassion, intelligence, outrage and humanity! An overwhelming testament to the diversity, mystery, complexity of gender and undeniable inclusion that love demands"
"ARRESTING AND BEAUTIFUL - Challenging and redemptive in many many ways. It is both an important work for us as theater lovers - and for us as human beings - especially in these crazy, troubled times we are communally struggling with. Go see it."
City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs
Dallas Morning News
KERA 90.1fm / ART+SEEK
Photos by Michael C Foster
FOR THE WORLD PREMIERE PRODUCTION
Sheila D. Rose
LaMar Roheem Staton
Audio & Video designer