Last week I attended the first two classes in our educational series, and I had a blast.
First up was the Cross-Gender Casting Panel, lead by Heather Strickland, Byron Woods, Rebecca Blum, and Richard Butner. This engaging discussion explored cross-gender casting from the perspective of director, critic, actor, and audience.
I learned a lot, but my biggest take-away from the panel was that there are a number of great reasons to cast women in traditionally male roles, but cross-gender casting should always be done with deliberate intent. Whether the reason is to challenge gender roles and stereotypes, to cast the person with the right essence that matches the demands of the role, or to push boundaries, the director and cast must be willing to unpack and question motives so that their production has a clear intention. As always, this intention must be relayed to the audience so that they are able follow the story in an accessible way vs spending their entire evening thinking “is that a girl in a boy role?” (unless, of course, that was the intention).
The second workshop I attended was called Fight Like a Girl, led by Heather Strickland and Jason Bailey. I had so much fun! I partnered up with Lucia Foster and we worked together though a fight sequence choreographed by Heather and Jason. I’m pretty sure my greatest skill was learning to make a good sound for my fake punch (and I have a bit of a bruise to prove it).
A huge thanks goes out to Heather Strickland, the mastermind of both events!!
Lucia Foster also attended the puppet workshop led by Judy and Mac McCord at NRACT this weekend. She had a great time, check out the photos!
(Photos provided by Dannibeth Farnum)
I can’t stress this enough – Go take advantage of the classes offered by the festival. They are both fun and thought provoking! Check out the entire schedule and go sign up!