Written by Howey, and directed by veteran actor, teacher and director Scott Plate, Exact Change takes us inside the mind of a woman born inside a man's body.
With astonishing, visceral imagery and insight, Ms. Howey, actress and playwright, hews away at her human facade and personal privacy to reveal the terrifying, confusing, brutal and often hilarious musings of a trapped soul as seen through the eyes of a little girl, an adolescent, a mother masquerading as a father and a mature woman bitterly defeated by her awkward unfamiliar femininity.
With a clear and nuanced voice built for the theater, Howey powerfully, unashamedly and without an ounce of self-pity, rants and raves, laughs and coos, struts and bellows, satirizing her earlier masculinity, boldly sharing her pain. Named 'Dick' at birth, she winks at us as she wonders why her parents weren't content with a single mention of that body part, but had to give her two to contend with. She was, as she suggests, the girl with two dicks! Funny stuff.
Her story emerges, heartbreaking and deeply moving, from a tangled web of terror to confusion and final acceptance. We experience her desperation. We come to see her ultimate sex change operation as a great healing. She teaches us compassion with the gentlest of touches.
In a world where gender issues so enrage and confuse the ignorant, where transgender people are terrorized, murdered and even defaced in death, Howey stands before us with such vulnerability and unvarnished courage, our own aching humanity is soothed and touched.
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