Open Forum

Gender identity and roles

  • 1.  Gender identity and roles

    Posted 02-07-2020 12:23
    I have read several scripts where the playwright has specifically stated that any gender changes would not be allowed.
    However, what if you have an actor that identifies as the other gender and plays that gender in the show? This may be an old topic for many but it is only recently appearing in my area of the world.

    Ed Koffenberger
    New Bern NC

  • 2.  RE: Gender identity and roles

    Posted 02-07-2020 12:50
    The way I understand it, you can cast a (insert gender identification here) in a male role, as long as they play it as a male character.

    I've seen scripts that specifically state that genders must be played by gender-matching actors, but that's rare. Scripts like that don't leave room for non-traditional gender identifications, so I'd say either make a judgement call or, as an extra precaution, contact the rightsholder to ask.

    Josh Kauffman
    Teacher, Thespian Society/Drama Club sponsor
    Winfield City Schools
    Winfield, AL

  • 3.  RE: Gender identity and roles

    Posted 02-07-2020 12:52

    If you honor the student's gender identity and cast as such you're not changing the role's gender. It's only if you are changing the script's pronouns and such. 

    You can even have cross gendered casting (women playing men onstage and vice versa.) 

    Rebecca Black
    Wayland MI

  • 4.  RE: Gender identity and roles

    Posted 02-08-2020 17:27

    As a teacher and director, I generally have students play the gender by which they identify.

    As a playwright, I am open to people following that rule of thumb when performing my scripts, but I can't speak for other authors.  That's why it's always best to ask permission in each case.

    Jeff Grove
    Theatre Teacher, Aesthetics Department Chair
    Stanton College Preparatory School
    Jacksonville FL