Connecticut theater cancels ‘I Am My Own Wife’ after backlash over casting cisgender actor in trans roleThe reporter hit the nail on its head when he wrote,
By Christopher Arnott
May 03, 2021
The Warner Theatre in Torrington has canceled a planned production of the historical drama “I Am My Own Wife” after criticism from the transgender community over the casting of a cisgender male in the lead role.
Complaints on Facebook about the Warner’s production of the one-actor show said trans voices should tell trans stories, echoing an ongoing debate about representation in the arts world.
“It is incredibly damaging and harmful to trans people to cast cis men in trans women’s roles,” Embrys Graham, a genderfluid theater artist, wrote in emails to the Warner. “It perpetuates the damaging idea that trans women are ‘men in dresses.’ This concept has been the cause of hatred and violence against trans women.”
The debate over representation in the arts has been gaining momentum, largely as it relates to the question of who should play parts portraying people in historically underrepresented groups. Most recently, a debate has unfolded over the casting of Ewan McGregor, who is straight, to play the gay designer Halston in an upcoming Netflix production.This is about underrepresented populations. Through out the history Hollywood and the theaters didn’t hire minorities. Look at westerns almost all the original peoples were portrayed by white, Charlie Chan were played by Caucasian, and then Blackface, these all were done because of discrimination and bigotry.
Even the actor hired objected to be cast as a trans person…
“Of course I’m sympathetic to the trans community; I’m part of the LGBTQ community,” said Maher, a gay Connecticut actor. “Is [casting only a trans actor] a viable argument? Absolutely. Wouldn’t it have been best to use this as an opportunity to educate?”The article mentioned that the play last year at the Long Wharf Theater used a nonbinary actor, Wikipedia says that in Chicago's About Face Theatre in 2016, Out Front Theatre Company in Atlanta, Georgia, and Spokane's Stage Left Theater all used trans actresses or actors.
There are those who argue that they should talent that can draw an audience but how do you get there if they don’t hire trans actresses and actors even for minor parts. The Warner Theatre is an excellent place to break-in new actors, it is off Broadway but close enough to get recognition and I bet you that some have gone on to Broadway. But trans actresses/actors are now showing up on mainstream television shows, on the big screen, and on Broadway, it is time to stop saying that there is no major trans talent out there.
Let us put an end to trans face and hire trans actors.