Becoming a man in 127 steps is the theater show of Scott Turner Schofield, a man who once was a woman. The fact that he comes from the Deep South of United States makes the whole story spicier.
The work of Schofield has very deep autobiographical elements in it. His transgender identity is the source of inspiration and struggle. Theater has become his way of bringing his stories to the public space. The fact that he is one of the few transgender theater makers is already worth to watch his pieces. His aim is to introduce the people another side, one where identities are being tested and confronted to each other daily.
For his latest show Becoming a man in 127 steps Schofield has chosen to involve the public in his stories. It is stories (127) on which this piece of theater is based. These are personal stories, disturbing stories but also hopeful and funny. It is the tragic-comic sphere where Schofiel positions his work. On the stage he takes place in his colorful and simplistic castle with the public around him. The people give him a number and he responds with a story. Is the closeness of the public part of protection or connection? Answering this question remains open for interpretation.
This show is a decent one, in the sense it is theater with stories which the public cannot get to know easily. Schofield claims (and with him many from the public) that what makes his stories particular is his openness and sincere way to speak about these autobiographical fragments of his life. However, this can be questioned. The discussion after the theater with public turned to be interesting in order to see how far did this openness get as going naked on the stage doesn’t directly entail sincerity. When asked by a rather young girl what was he like when he was a child, Schofield couldn’t really answer this simple question. In fact he didn’t get further than: ‘I liked Nirvana’. Also some other crucial questions were avoided. One could say afterwards that Schofield isn’t that open as he claims, partly I would agree with this. But I believe that there is a lot of confusion and uncertainty in his identity. That can be felt also in his play. Yet Becoming a man in 127 steps remains a fair introduction of a subject which we can’t ignore any longer.