Gender influences the way people perceive acceptable and unacceptable behavior, but how does that play out across the political spectrum? It’s a question Verbatim Performance Lab, a project from NYU Steinhardt’s Educational Theatre program, seeks to understand.

Photo by John Schlia for Geva Theatre Center

Verbatim Performance Lab will perform its insightful production, The Kavanaugh Files, on September 19 at 6:30 p.m. as part of NYU’s Constitution Day. The event is co-sponsored by NYU’s Brademas Center and NYU Government Affairs.

Nearly one year ago, the American public captively watched then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and research psychologist Dr. Christine Blasey Ford deliver nine comprehensive hours of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Tasked with confirming Kavanaugh, the Committee called for an additional day of hearings after Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers. At the time, both Blasey Ford’s and Kavanaugh’s behavior and perceived credibility were largely parsed through their gender.

VPL’s “The Kavanaugh Files” offers an opportunity to revisit the hearings using a different construction. By employing gender flipped verbatim performance (transcripts from the event delivered by actors trained to recall each subject’s speech patterns and gestures), VPL questions the ongoing dialogue about how gender affects people’s day-to-day interactions with their larger political, cultural and social worlds.

Following the performance, a discussion co-facilitated by VPL Director Joe Salvatore and NYU Law Professor Melissa Murray will take place. “The Kavanaugh Files” will take place at NYU’s Eisner & Lubin Auditorium in the Kimmel Center (60 Washington Square South). [Subways: R, W (8th Street); 6 (Astor Place); A, B, C, D, E, F, M (West 4th Street).] It is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

About the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Located in the heart of New York City’s Greenwich Village, NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development prepares students for careers in the arts, education, health, media and psychology. Since its founding in 1890, the Steinhardt School's mission has been to expand human capacity through public service, global collaboration, research, scholarship, and practice. To learn more about NYU Steinhardt, visit

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