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Transparent season 4 gets political, and Davina gets a backstory

Writer-producer Faith Soloway explains why the Pfeffermans are headed to Israel, and Alexandra Billings says we’ll get a Davina transgender arc

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Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP Images; Merie Wallace/Amazon Studios

Transparent is daring to get political in Season 4.

After her musical cabaret “Should Transparent Become a Musical?” at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater Monday night, the show’s consulting producer and writer Faith Soloway explained how the show will approach some controversial themes. (By the way, she does think the series should become a musical, and is making it happen.)

The upcoming season will take the Pfefferman family to Israel on account of Maura (Jeffrey Tambor) being invited to speak at a conference. Soloway says this plot move positions the show to explore the question of boundaries, presumptively both familial and national. “We’re taking on the question of boundaries, and the polarity of religion and tribes,” she explains. “Even going to Israel is controversial.” She says her sister Jill Soloway, who created the series and serves as showrunner, “just wants to dive right into the controversy.” 

RELATED: Judith Light On How Transparent Cast Views Show In Current Political Climate

Cohosting the cabaret with Soloway was Alexandra Billings, who recently closed her autobiographical cabaret S/He & Me last week in Los Angeles and stars as Maura’s friend Davina in the Amazon series. She revealed that season 4 of the critically-acclaimed show “has a lot more Davina in it, thank god,” meaning a bigger story line than seasons past — “strange,” she admits, considering Davina doesn’t join the family on their trip to Israel.

Part of that story, Billings says, if Davina’s backstory. You get to figure out where Davina is from and what happened to her and why she sort of is the way she is,” says the transgender actress, who just appeared in an impassioned PSA for on-screen trans representation. “It’s a nice, big transgender story line.”

Transparent season 4 premieres this fall on Amazon.