Dr. Lazlo Ilya Pearlman is a creator, performer, director, lecturer and teacher whose work is often inspired by his Queer, Jewish and Trans identities. His performance and scholarly work entangles these and other socio-political and philosophical ideas with contemporary and physical theatres, performance art, installations, cabaret, burlesque, vaudeville, fetish and sex shows, camp/parody, clowning, film/video and the occasional piece of "straight" theatre.
Lazlo holds a PhD in performance practice and philosophy (see his thesis abstract here), and an MFA in physical theatre. He has created and performed full length one person shows, short solo works, has written and directed short films and is a collaborative director and curator of cross-genre performance. He has given workshops and lectures on performance and identity in North America, the EU and the UK.
His scholarly work is currently focussed on Trans visual and performance cultures and he is working on his first scholarly book for Bloomsbury Press entitled Transing Visualities: Identity, Representation, Performance, expected publication late 2024.
Performance projects include Dance Me to the End of Love , a work exploring intimacy, exposure and the trans body via the strip, partner dance and audience participation; and the feature length "documentary" on his work Fake Orgasm, (Directed by Jo Sol, produced by Zip Films), which has screened at festivals and conferences worldwide since 2011. His short film Unhung Heroes, the first comedy about not having a dick is distributed by Frameline San Francisco.
His teaching at Santa Clara University focuses on Contemporary Theatre practice and philosophy, actor training, devising and physical theatre, political cabaret and performance art, cultural and performance studies. He is conducting ongoing research on actor-performer training for trans, gender nonconforming and queer populations, and on "what our trans bodies onstage can do when we do not describe or explain trans identity". His recent works Strings Attached and Tamishey Mitzvah look into the performative (mis)use of Jewish ritual practices.
His academic writing to date has focused on the transgender body in performance, (see also here, and here) and queer performance practices in France, with articles forthcoming on trans and queer actor-performer training, de-canonizing training pedagogies and on "Transing" (in) performance.