Musical and Theatrical
I combine research and performance, I use performative autoethnography as a methodology to explore social, educational, and political phenomena through studying contemporary society and my place in it. Performance-based research is a way of sharing research through the stage rather than making consumers read journal articles or books that are often inaccessible because of cost (and who wants to read a 5,000 word essay when you can be entertained by musical theater?!)
Let's break down some of those words as they relate to my work:
Research - The systematic exploration of a phenomenon to establish conclusions.
Performance - Being on stage and sharing a story through song, movement, art, and speaking.
Performative - The way a person interacts, reacts, and enacts within society.
Autoethnography - A research methodology that is the study of culture by looking at one's own life.
Methodology - The way in which one goes about researching.
Pictures at a Gender[*] Exhibition
Pictures at a Gender[*] Exhibition is a song cycle of musical theater vignettes that highlights aspects of gender and challenges the gender norms common in many choral and theatrical setting as they relate to voice parts, gender representation and presentation, costuming, and character development. Pictures tells the story of Christopher Cayari's gender journey as a genderqueer/gender nonconforming individual through monologue, visual spectacle, and song interweaving original prose and verse with musical favorites from Wicked, Hamilton, Sunset Boulevard, Catch Me if You Can, Amelie, Songs For A New World, Kinky Boots, and more.
Who Am I? I Am What I Am!
Who Am I? I Am What I Am! is a one-act musical theater review that addresses the (lack of) representation of queer people in K-12 music and theater education. As a K-12 music teacher, Christopher Cayari avoided the topic of sexuality in the classroom; they used to think that LGBTQIA+ issues had no place in school. His journey of acceptance, empowerment, and activism that began when they realized that portraying LGBTQIA+ characters through song and on stage was not only appropriate for young people, but also necessary for the representation of this population. Musical numbers include songs from 35mm, La Cage, Rent, 13, Altar Boyz, and Bare: A Pop Opera.
The show has been performed across the world and has won multiple grants and awards.