Won't Be a Ghost

by Francis Weiss Rabkin
Music by Leslie Allison

Won’t Be a Ghost is a multidisciplinary play reclaiming the erased histories and writings of queer truth-tellers Magnus Hirschfeld, Weimar-era sexologist, and whistle-blower Chelsea Manning. Taking structural cues from Ancient Greek tragedies, a chorus guides the audience from the gardens of Hirschfeld’s Institute for Sexual Science to a US Army base in Iraq, where Manning tells her story via instant messenger. Hirschfeld and Manning, both leaders in queer and trans* rights during times of war, challenge the State's control of information and censorship of queer bodies. Through rituals of healing they find grace in the unjust, refusing martyrdom.

Performance History

Developed through residencies at HERE, The Drama League of New York (dir. Anna Brenner), and Dixon Place. In progress showings at: HERE, The Drama League, Prelude '14, and Dixon Place.

Premiere at The Brick (Brooklyn, NY) in April 2016.

Untitled Witch Play

Inspired by Marxist Feminist theorist Silvia Federici's Caliban and the Witch, and our own spiritual explorations, we're working on a new piece addressing the legacy of the European Witch Burnings, and imagining an collectivist alternative history.


Work in progress showings and development through the New York Theater Workshop, where Francis Weiss Rabkin is a 2050 Fellow.