6 Roles I'd Love to See Gender Flipped

6 Roles I'd Love to See Gender Flipped

Everyone has a role they would love to play but “can’t” because it is not their gender. This writer feels that there are plenty of roles that could be gender flipped and would have no negative effect on the show, and may even make the show better.  Hamilton was revolutionary because it changed the race of famous figures who were white. That’s an excellent start for growing the diversity on stage; but I believe we can take it one step further.  By changing the gender of certain roles, it gives a production a completely new take.  It can make a show you’ve seen for years suddenly feel brand new, like you’re seeing it for the first time.  

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D.C.'s Top 1’s, 3’s and 5’s I Saw in 2016

Christian Jost 

OnStage Washington D.C. Critic

This past year was my first year as a Theatre critic for OnStage and as such, I was able to see numerous performances that deserve recognition. I’ve narrowed down the hundreds of actors I saw this year to just my top 3’s and 5’s. I’ve also been able to narrow down other aspects of the stage to my top 1’s and 3’s. Everything below is classified as a musical, with plays to be addressed at the end. Taming of the Shrew, done by the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) is considered a musical due to the added in musical numbers. 

Best Lighting Design
1.    Allan Sean Weeks, Next to Normal, Keegan Theater

Best Instrumental Direction
1.    Sarah Jane Scott, Bat Boy, Prince William Little Theatre 

Best Vocal Direction
1.  Karen Keating, Pirates of Penzance, Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre (SSMT)

Best Costumes
1. Loren Shaw, Taming of the Shrew, STC
2. Cheryl Yancey, Pirates of Penzance, SSMT
3. Cierra Coan, Heathers, Red Branch Theatre Company

Best Scenic Design/Set
1.    Jason Sherwood, Taming of the Shrew, STC
2.    William Pierson, Sweeny Todd, SSMT
3.    Michael “Jonz” Jones, Pirates of Penzance, SSMT

Best Choreography
1.    Chase Brock, Taming of the Shrew, STC
2.    Edward Carignan, Sweeny Todd, SSMT
3.    Trey Coates-Mitchell , Pirates of Penzance, SSMT

Best Director
1.    Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, Taming of the Shrew, STC
2.    Colin Smith and Mark. A. Rhea, Next to Normal, Keegan
3.    Jeremy Scott Blaustein, Pirates of Penzance, SSMT

Best Ensemble Member
1.    Josh Walker, SSMT
2.    Loralee Price, Pickwick Players
3.    Madelyn Pyles, SSMT
4.    Megan Khaziran, McLean Community Players
5.    Sarah Summerwell, SSMT

Best Ensemble
1.    Pirates of Penzance, SSMT
2.    Taming of the Shrew, STC
3.    Heathers, Red Branch Theatre Company

Best Featured Performer
1.    Aaron Verchot-Ware, Bat Boy The Musical, PWLT
2.    Scott Ward Abernethy, Next to Normal, Keegan Theatre
3.    Tendo Nsubuga and Taylor Witt, Heathers, Red Branch
4.    Michael Forest, Sweeny Todd, SSMT
5.    Franklin Williams, Footloose, McLean Community Players

Best Supporting Actor
1.    Peter Gadiot, Taming of the Shrew, STC
2.    Russell Rinker, Pirates of Penzance, SSMT
3.    Chad Wheeler, Next to Normal, Keegan Theater
4.    Matthew R. Wilson, Pirates of Penzance, SSMT
5.    Oliver Thornton, Taming of the Shrew, STC

Best Supporting Actress
1.    Caroline Dubberly, Next to Normal, Keegan Theater
2.    Katie Davis, Pirates of Penzance, SSMT
3.    Dolly Stevens, Sweeny Todd, SSMT

Best Lead Actress
1.    Nikkie Culbreth, Footloose, McLean Community Players
2.    Kari Ginsburg, Next to Normal, Keegan Theatre
3.    Kristen Fitzgerald, My Fair Lady, Pickwick Players

Best Lead Actor
1.    Matthew Russell, Taming of the Shrew, STC
2.    Telly Leung, Taming of the Shrew, STC
3.    Hasani Allen, Heathers, Red Branch Theatre Company

Best Overall Cast
1.    Taming of the Shrew, STC
2.    Next to Normal, The Keegan Theater
3.    Pirates of Penzance, Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre                                        

Best Show
1.    Taming of the Shrew, STC
2.    Next to Normal, The Keegan Theater
3.    Pirates of Penzance, Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre

That concludes the main list but as mentioned above, I’d like to take a second to acknowledge some wonderful pieces of drama I saw this year. First off, let’s start with the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of Othello which had an excellent cast, specifically Jonno Roberts as Iago. Also want to give recognition to Jay Tilley for his work in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with The Castaways Repertory Theatre. Also to give respect to some wonderful high school theatre in the area, huge kudos to Ian Carlson and Charlie Trochlil for their work in Loudoun Valley High School’s production of Peter and the Starcatcher.

Lastly I would like to acknowledge the absolute best thing I saw this year. I omitted it from the above work because it was in its own league. I had the pleasure of seeing Come From Away at the Ford’s Theatre on 9/11 and let me tell you, nothing compares. It only slightly trails Hamilton as the best thing I’ve seen on the stage. Broadway better get ready!

The Post Show Blues: Maybe It’s Just Me

Christian Jost

  • OnStage DC/LA Columnist

Whenever a show ends people always have that “post show slump” when they realize the stage is empty, the wings are clear, and the cast is gone. Whether you enjoyed the cast or not you still have spent months working with each other and now you probably won’t see most of them ever again. That can be very tough, especially if you’re like me and have over-attachment issues. When a show completes its run there is still so much energy flying around and no way to get rid of it. We can try to satisfy ourselves but nothing will let us reach the same satisfaction as performing.

When I finish a show it hits me harder than most people. I’m often asked why this happens to me and usually I just brush it off with an “I don’t know” or an “I guess I’m just emotional like that” but today I thought I’d share the real reason why with you. In retrospect this could have been just an angst-y Facebook post but OnStage is such a great outlet for people to read and discuss and I thought maybe there are others who feel the same way and are looking for something to relate to. God knows I’d love someone to say “exactly” or “I thought it was just” after reading this.

Anyway, the reason it hits me the way it does is simply this: I have nothing else. Theatre is all I’ve got. I don’t have a day job that I work at because I know I’ll never put as much into anything the way I do performing. I don’t have a big family where we can go on vacation or have family dinners every week. I don’t have friends that I hang out with every week or even once a month because I’m not good at opening up to people. Performing is what I do, when I’m not performing I’m scrolling through audition groups to see is there’s anything coming up soon to perform in. Theatre isn’t a hobby that I do in my free time; it’s what I do to survive. It’s like oxygen to me. I know that’s a cliché people use quite often but it’s completely true for me. Theatre is life.

I’m really good at being a character; I’m not good at being myself.

Of course I know that theatre is a hard business to pursue and there will be times, sometimes very long, where I won’t be performing/able to perform and I’ve accepted that. Believe me, I’ve accepted that. However I’d rather spend my life trying to do what I love and failing than living a life as a failure because I stopped trying. I also know at some point I’ve gotta find out who I am myself, without a script by my side but that’s not gonna happen overnight. Trust me, I’ve tried. The way I see it is that I’ve made a huge step today by opening up to you and telling you something about me that not even the people I consider my closest friends know. Progress is progress.

Thank you for listening to me and I hope there are people out there who know now that it’s not just them. That other people need the stage just as much as they do. That they’re not alone.