A host of the UK’s biggest theatres have pledged to only cast trans, non-binary or gender non-conforming actors in roles with those identities by signing the Trans Casting Statement.
More than 40 theatres and production companies have signed the statement, including The Royal Court, Oxford Playhouse, and Manchester’s Royal Exchange, agreeing to “never cast, or endorse a production that casts, a cisgender person in a trans, non-binary or gender non-conforming role”.
The organisations have promised to “actively seek casting opportunities” for trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming people in “any role regardless of gender”, acknowledging that “they’re currently underrepresented on our stages and screens”, alongside recognising that Black trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming people “face the toughest barriers due to anti-Black racism” and “colourism”. They’ve committed to challenging these issues through their casting.
Trans actor Mika Onyx Johnson said: “Visibility on screen and stage is all linked to how people are treated in real life. I think the statement will lead to more people being able to get in the room and ultimately get more work.”
The Trans Casting Statement was created after a cisgender actor was cast as a trans character in West End’s Breakfast on Pluto, which caused trans actor Kate O’Donnell to leave, and Milk Presents, Outbox and The Queer House to begin working on the statement.
The show’s producers Donmar Warehouse and Birmingham Rep support the statement, and O’Donnell says the commitment is a first step to addressing the lack of trans representation in British theatre.
Words By Danielle Saunders.
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