By Daimien J. Matherson
Theatre has long been hailed as one of the safest places for self expression and exploration. I’m lucky enough to share that experience. The arts are where I feel safe and where I can make others feel the same. Hi! My name is Daimien J. Matherson and I am a theatre owner in South Florida. Oh, and I’m transgender.
Since childhood, I knew there was something that wasn’t quite right. I attended Catholic schools, uniforms included, where I was in a sea of everyone who looked, thought, and believed the same. Except me. I always thought maybe my clothes just never fit properly. I was uncomfortable and hated the mirror. I recognized my eyes but everything else was foreign. High School introduced bullying, both physically and verbally. My light in the dark was my discovery of the arts when I joined the school’s choir and I found my strength. Junior year, I came out as a lesbian, becoming the school’s first openly LGBTQ+ individual. I joined a GLCC where I learned about the term, “transgender.” Something I wouldn’t, for a long while still, let myself identify with.
Flash forward to 2012, a series of abusive relationships and an intimate encounter with suicide goes by and I can finally enroll in college. Music develops into a love of theatre and I dive in soul first. Theatre became my ultimate safe space. I worked myself through school with clients in recovery where I first implemented theatre as a form of healing. While running these activities, I found my own healing and acceptance, and in 2015 at the age of 25, I came out as a transgender man. Immediately, the theatre community became my first line of defense and support; solidifying my dream to start a theatre company. And in 2017 Measure for Measure Theatre was created with my partner, Kelly Johnson. I vow that, Measure for Measure will not only provide high quality theatre productions but also a nurturing and accepting environment to anyone who works with us. We are an ever-growing family and there’s always room for more.
Now in 2019, we at Measure for Measure Theatre are two shows in. We have received a Carbonell Nomination and won Silver Palm Award for out production of Next to Normal (Sabrina Lynn Gore/Best Actress). April brings promise as we make our Broward Center for the Performing Arts debut with a production of Murder Ballad. I believe our success is powered by those that support us. Audiences provide the support that comes with gratitude beyond words. Every person throws a blow into the barriers surrounding us. Just enjoying our shows makes you one of our heroes!
Come out and support us, your local queer business, by checking out Murder Ballad at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in the Abdo New River Room April 16-28, 2019. Tickets are now available through the Broward Center Box Office (954) 462-0222 or Measure for Measure Theatre’s website www.MeasureForMeasureTheatre.com. Don’t miss this seductive rock-style musical about love and betrayal with a cast that will blow you away.