The following is an interview with writer and performer Rebecca McGlynn regarding the production, Asexuality! The Solo Musical, at the 2022 Hollywood Fringe Festival. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with McGlynn about the inspiration behind the production, the creative process of bringing the show to life, how you can purchase tickets, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congrats on the launch of Asexuality! The Solo Musical! For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you tell us about the premise of this show?
Rebecca McGlynn: Thank you! The Hollywood Fringe Festival marks the world premiere for this show. It’s an autobiographical one-woman musical about my life, growing up identifying as an asexual man, all the way through my recent revelation that I am, in fact, a transgender woman. It explores the way that toxic masculinity and societal expectations weigh on those of us assigned male at birth, but in a tone that blends education and heavy subject matter with entertainment and comedy.
BD: As the writer and star, what can you tell us us about your creative process in bringing this production to life?
RM: I started writing this show about five years ago. At that time I still had no idea I was trans, but I had a deep and personal understanding of the struggles of men on the asexual spectrum. There have been so many times in my life that I’d had sex simply because I thought it was expected of me. Shortly after I started writing, the Harvey Weinstein allegations surfaced, and the #MeToo movement exploded. In the days and weeks that followed, I learned how common that experience was, even among other men, and even among those who didn’t consider themselves to be on the asexual spectrum. That knowledge reinforced my understanding of how much this story needed to be told.
Through the various drafts of the script, I was always disappointed in some way with the ending. In some drafts, it felt too neat; others, too messy; still others, not representative of my experience. Then, in 2020, when my marriage ended and I came out as a trans woman, it completely changed my relationship with my body and my sexuality, and so (without spoiling too much) I realized that my story hadn’t felt complete because I hadn’t finished living it. And that feeling itself became the ending to my show.
BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that Asexuality! The Solo Musical will connect with and impact audiences?
RM: I hope that by telling my story, I can bring illumination about a corner of the queer community that is woefully underrepresented and widely misunderstood. I think lots of people can relate to many elements of my show, even if they’re not asexual or transgender.
For my LGBTQIA+ audience members, I hope I can provide a true-to-life representation of what my particular facet of the queer experience. For the allies, a greater and more nuanced understanding of the struggles of the ace community. For everyone, the moral that you can’t be happy without living your truth, and that everyone is capable of being forgiven.
BD: What makes the Hollywood Fringe Festival an ideal venue for your productions?
RM: I love the energy at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. There is a real sense of community here that is exceptional and rare, especially in a city with a reputation for having a cutthroat, competitive creative industry. Fringe isn’t (and shouldn’t be) about competition. To me it has always been about lifting up other artists.
The Hollywood Fringe Festival has been a sort of home for me over the past few years. I was first involved in 2016 when I co-wrote and produced “Top of the Fringe” winner My Big Fat Blonde Musical. I spent the next few years doing videography for Fringe shows, and the more I got involved in solo theatre, the more I always thought I would premiere a solo show in it someday.
BD: The show will be appearing at studio/stage in June. Are there any future plans to perform the show at other venues?
RM: I would love to take this show to other stages and festivals, either here in Los Angeles or around the world. While I currently have no concrete plans beyond June, the Hollywood Fringe is by no means the final destination of this show.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects that you would care to share with our readers?
RM: I’m currently in preproduction for a digital series I wrote. It’s a superhero dramedy that doesn’t quite embrace absurdism, but certainly gets close enough for a quick peck on the cheek.
I’m already writing outlines for musical upon musical for future Fringes. The creative energy of this community has inspired me and chipped away at my pandemic-forged depression. (Plus, I keep having really interesting things happen in my life—it’s all fodder for something!)
And I’m collaborating on a few exciting projects that I’m very excited about. But I suspect I’m not allowed to elaborate much about those.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell readers who want to learn more about and purchase tickets for Asexuality! The Solo Musical?