Arts & Culture

Discover All Things Regional in Central PA’s art and culture scene. Join hosts Cary Burkett and Joe Ulrich as they make artistic discoveries throughout the midstate. From music and visual arts to theatre, museums, literature and more! Listen every Wednesday and Friday on witf 89.5 and 93.3 for features highlighting the best and brightest cultural happenings in the region.

Quirky Queer Quaker Performance Artist Peterson Toscano

Written by Joe Ulrich, Arts & Culture Desk and WITF Host | Feb 19, 2015 9:13 AM


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It's hard to describe what Peterson Toscano of Sunbury does. His website sums it up best: "A quirky, queer quaker performance artist and scholar. Playfully Exploring the serious worlds of gender, religion and climate change."

Toscano initially wanted to be a missionary and spent 17 years of his life trying to "de-gay" himself so he could pursue a faith-based line of work. Eventually he came out and embraced his passion for performance. Now he does one-man comedy performances, lectures and podcasts. 

Religion, gender and climate change all get mixed together with comedy to tackle issues that otherwise can be complicated and frustrating to deal with.

"I think the role of the court jester today is needed more than ever before, " Toscano says. "Particularly when you're dealing with issues of gender and sexuality and climate change. The role of the comic I believe is to help people with these complicated and contentious issues, not just to poke fun at them, but literally to see the heart and the truth of these things."

His perfomances include Does This Apocolypes Make Me Look Fat?, There's Something Funny About Climate Change and A Queer Response to Climate Change - What Would Walt Whitman Do? among others.

He's appeared on the Tyra Banks Show, he does a weekly podcast called Climate Stew (iTunes link) and he's been published on Huffington Post

While Toscano performs internationally, he will be appearing locally on February 27th at the Front Street Station in Northumberland.

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