Apply to Perform With Us!

Thanks so much for applying to perform in The Body Political. This show is an exploration of body politics, both social messages/expectations/myths about the body as well as our unique personal relationships/journeys with our bodies. We’re excited to make this happen and can’t wait to see what you’d like to bring to our show!

The term “body politics” refers to the ways in which our bodies are controlled, denied, and marginalized through social and political institutions and how these institutions impact the degree of individual and social control we have over our bodies. Social control of the body is used to assert authority, maintain existing systems of power, mark bodies as deviant or inferior, and deny individuals the right to control their own bodies.

Please read all of the information below before proceeding with the application.


The next Body Political is on June 27, 2019 at the African American Art and Culture Complex in San Francisco (Western Addition Neighborhood and Ramaytush & Ohlone land) and will be part of the National Queer Arts Festival. There is a mandatory tech rehearsal on June 26th at the venue.

Both the venue and stage are wheelchair accessible.

Pay is $150 per act, which includes the tech rehearsal on Wednesday, June 26th. Performers traveling outside of California will receive a $300 travel stipend.


This show’s intention is to showcase a wide diversity of experiences related to the body and within this we strive to have a cast that also reflects diversity. Folks of underrepresented backgrounds are especially encouraged to apply, including people of color, indigenous performers, gender non-conforming and trans folx, people with disabilities, and performers over the age of 40. We hold 60% of our performance slots for POC performers.


Because we deeply value the voices of marginalized folks and recognize the systemic oppression that exists in our community, we are creating a priority application period for performers who identify as a member of a marginalized group. We see you, we value your time and appreciate you, and we want you on our stage! From February 1st until February 15th, we ask that only those who identify as a priority applicant apply. All applications received during this time will be considered first for the show. From February 16th until February 28th, applications will be open to everyone.


This year we’re creating a mentorship program to give our cast members more hands-on support as they develop their acts. Many of our past cast members have enjoyed the workshop that we hold as part of the show, and we’re keen on expanding that element of our work. Mentorship is not required to participate in our show, however if you do choose to participate in the program you will be paired with a former Body Political cast member who will provide 3 months of support leading up to the show.


Priority Application Period: February 1st – 15th.

All applications due: February 28th at Midnight PST.

Responses will be sent out by March 18th.

Application Fee

There is a $5 application fee per act.


If you have any questions, please email

With Love,
The Body Political Casting Panel


How does the casting process work?

Applications are open from February 1st- 28th. The priority application period is February 1st – 15th and the open application period is February 16th- 28th. Performers from marginalized backgrounds can apply at any time during the application period, however applications submitted during the priority application period are considered first for the show.

The Body Political is curated by our casting panel. Each application is reviewed by every member of the casting panel and ranked. After all the applications are reviewed, the panel will convene for a casting meeting where final selections are made.

Performers will be notified by March 18th.

Who is the casting panel?

Our casting panel is made five performers from various performance art communities. They are:

  • Emjay Mercury
  • Jet Noir
  • Tas Al-Ghul
  • Laika Fox
  • Andi Stardust

Read more about the panel on our Casting Panel page.

How are priority applications different than open applications?

The priority application period is for performers who identify as a member of a marginalized community. Applications submitted during this period will be considered first for the show.

Marginalized communities include, but are not limited to: people of color, indigenous performers, gender non-conforming and trans folx, people with disabilities, and performers over the age of 40.

You will be asked to share a bit about your experience as a marginalized performer on the priority application.

What are you looking for in acts?

We look for acts that tells a story related to the performer’s personal experience in their body. When reviewing the acts we look for stories that take us, and the audience, on a journey.

We also consider the following (for example, not an exhaustive list):

  • Story: Is there an beginning, middle, climax, and end to the act? What is the timing/pacing of the act in terms of action/transformation?
  • Intersectionality: How do you explore the complexity of your identities? Are you speaking from a personal experience or making generalizations about a group?
  • Costuming: Is the costume solidly constructed?
  • Reveals: Are the reveals smooth? Does the performer understand basic tenants of the strip tease?
  • Musicality: Is the performer performing to the music or the lyrics of the act? Would the act make sense without the lyrics?
  • For circus performers: Is the performer in control of what they’re doing? Are they safe?
  • For spoken word: Is the performer reading off a piece of paper or performing the piece?
  • Mentorship: Can we help people tweak the act to be more readable?

While we consider the factors above, we recognize that impactful art does not come from a checklist. The items above are guidelines, not rules. A successful act could meet any combination of the above criteria.

Can I apply if I just have an idea?

Yes! But we do ask that you describe your concept in as much detail as possible.

When describing your act, we ask that you have as complete a story and clear a vision as possible. If the concept is not complete we are left to assume that your act will not be complete by date of show. This also applies to any props or costumes. If the work has not been at least commissioned or started, we assume it will not be ready by the show.

In your act description, please include the following information:

  • Concept: What the act is about
  • Plot: What’s going to happen in the act (describe the beginning, middle, and end)
  • Song or type of music you plan to use (if the act is performed to music)
  • Costume pieces and colors for your act and at what stage of development these pieces are in
  • Props that you’ll be using and what stage of development these pieces are in

We will also ask that you submit a video that represents your best performance so that we can get an idea of your performance style.

What else do you consider when casting the show?

The Body Political reserves at least 60% of our performance slots for performers of color. We cast the show to include representation of marginalized communities and the intersections that performers have within these communities. Intersectionality and representation are important values of our show.

What if I can’t afford the $5 application fee?

Our applications are “no one turned away for lack of funds”. If you’re unable to pay the application fee, please let us know via email at prior to submitting your application.

Help! I’m having trouble with the online form!

If you are unable to complete your application online or have technical issues with the online form, contact us at and we will send you the application in another format.

Additional Resources

Here are some additional resources to help you with your application:

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