Josephine Kearns is a Chicago-based dramaturg, educator, and theatre consultant specializing in transgender, queer, and intersex issues. She conducts in-depth education sessions both on a freelance basis and as a Program Coordinator for Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, drawing on her extensive knowledge and personal experience as well as her background as a high school teacher.
A longtime theatre artist, Josephine also consults on theatrical productions related to gender identity and sexuality. She is currently serving as gender consultant for the ongoing development of the world-premiere musical STU FOR SILVERTON (prod. Diana DiMenna), and has also consulted with Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Kansas City Rep, TimeLine Theatre, and Northwestern University, with upcoming projects at Shaw Festival Theatre and Fifth Avenue Theatre, among others. As dramaturg and gender consultant for BOY at TimeLine Theatre in Chicago last year, Artistic Director PJ Powers described her as an “invaluable advocate” for the play and said her “insight and generous spirit… infused this production.”
A queer and trans artist herself, Josephine’s other work includes building a first-in-the-nation mentorship program for trans youth at Lurie Children’s (luriechildrens.org/transmentor) and working with educational and medical institutions, as well as the State of Illinois, on implementing gender inclusive policies and practices.