Inequality in Theatre
A Discussion of Women in Theatre
Examples of Inequality in Theatre
- Cross-dressing Roles
- Very popular in Shakespearean times
- Today it is usually a joke
- However, there was a recent time that it was acceptable. Denice Hicks was the first American woman to play King Lear.
- Waiting for Godot does not allow women to act in the show.
- Imbalance of classical roles
- Women's roles were all stagnant until the late 80s early 90s. The roles were usually mothers, lovers, or harlots.
- Men have always tended to have the more adventurous leader roles, such as kings, soldiers, artists, inventors, and are 9 times out of 10, the lead roles.
- See the second page of the handout.
Helpful Ideas for More Equality
- More Casting Opportunities
- Casting is a very difficult process in which the director must choose the best actor for each role in the show.
- However, with the lack of female roles in shows, shows should be more willing to cast women as male roles, if it does not mess with the story of the show.
- Some people have done shows with changing the gender of characters, with usually positive outcomes.
- The Gender Continuum is the theory that characters could be masculine or feminine but have masculine or feminine traits.
- Writing More Roles
- Theatre has a play canon for which most of the playwrights are white males who tend to write about white males.
- There are female writers or plays with female characters, but those shows are not very popular, or are drowned out by the popularity of other shows.
- But that doesn't mean all shows are bad!
- Stereotyping Removed!
- Two of the most popular shows of the time are Fun Home and Wicked.
- Fun Home is a show a lesbian who has to deal with her family life,
- Wicked is the story of two of the witches of Oz.
- Both shows are about very strong females who are the leads of their own shows.