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WIBU to suggest this (acting - same sex relationship)?

(86 Posts)
manicinsomniac Sun 09-Dec-12 19:03:03

I've just been in a meeting to cast our school play.

Only 15 boys auditioned this year and only 5 of them are good enough to be anything beyond chorus. So we have changed a lot of the parts into girls. Eventually we only had one problem left - a massive male part who is in love with a minor female part. And no boy left who can handle the role.

Reluctantly, my co director said we'd have to change the large part into a female character and cut the love plot. I then said "unless we make them lesbians?" Cue massive amounts of laughter. I said "I was only half joking? Why couldn't we?"

Colleagues said head and parents would be horrified and absolutely no way could we do that. Totally inappropriate. Conversation moved on and all is sorted and cast now.

But now I'm thinking - is there any real reason why a school musical couldn't reasonably portray a same sex relationship. Is it really so inappropriate? Would you be unhappy with this as parents of the cast? (children are Y6 - Y8).

TidyDancer Sun 09-Dec-12 19:04:20

It wouldn't bother me, but I know a lot of people would be raging about it.

I don't know why.

thebody Sun 09-Dec-12 19:04:54

So that's ages 10 to 13.. Are you serious?

Yes, there's a reason - prejudice. Kids would very unfortunately get the piss ripped out of them forever

We're not there yet and a kids play is no place to test the boundaries of impolite society.

I'd be very impressed with the school and very happy to see it smile

Would the girls be happy to do it? Would they be teased afterwards? Would you expect two boys to do the same?

TidyDancer Sun 09-Dec-12 19:07:28

thebody - why wouldn't the OP be serious?

OkayHazel Sun 09-Dec-12 19:07:32

I think the children may be unhappy with the teasing they might receive for playing the role.
At a time when sexuality is very confusing (ie, puberty) this could be the reaction.
Why not change the major part female and give the minor part to one of the lesser able males?

manicinsomniac Sun 09-Dec-12 19:07:33

the body - I don't know, I was about 50% serious. I doubt I'd actually have done it but only because we wouldn't be allowed to get away with it by parents. I personally would do it without a qualm.

Oh sorry. Just seen the ages.

Thought it was a gcse thing.

Too young maybe?

MamaChocoholic Sun 09-Dec-12 19:09:06

I would love to see this. Showing lesbian characters in a school play would be a powerful message to the young lesbians in the school that they are equal to their straight friends. What a shame you didn't have anyone backing you up.

FreyaFridays Sun 09-Dec-12 19:09:29

I agree with Laurie, on the basis of protecting the children involved from ridicule in the playground. There are times to challenge viewpoints and social prejudice/acceptance, but I don't think Y6-Y8 is the age group in which to do it effectively. Surely they can't be portraying love stories too keenly even if they are heterosexual romances? If it were Y10-Y13, I would say go for it.

What musical is it, out of interest?

manicinsomniac Sun 09-Dec-12 19:10:35

okayhazel - you know what, none of us thought of that! That would have been totally doable! Oh well, done it now, both parts are girls and colleague is going to write the love parts out.

The girls wouldn't love the idea but they don't love being paired up with the boys at that age either!

MamaChocoholic Sun 09-Dec-12 19:12:07

Why too young? If they're old enough to play a straight love story then why should a gay one be off limits?

manicinsomniac Sun 09-Dec-12 19:13:21

FreyaFridays - oh, when I say 'love scenes' I'm just talking flirty banter and hugs, it's Beauty and the Beast (Lumiere and Babette)

DeWe Sun 09-Dec-12 19:13:34

If I saw it, then I'd guess that had happened and wonder why you chose a play with a major male when you didn't have someone to play it.

I also think that it would be a real slap in the face for the 10 boys who auditioned and didn't get any part. That's not going to encourage auditioning. It takes a lot of courage for a child to get up and audition, so to not get a part when there was one obviously there, I think would get peoples' backs up.

Go for "Daisy Pulls it Off" next year. wink

piglettsmummy Sun 09-Dec-12 19:14:40

If it was older ages then it would
Be fine but for that young no, as a parent I would be outraged to see a play like that at there age but f the children were older then it would be ok x

Montybojangles Sun 09-Dec-12 19:15:30

Do you even remember being that age ?? I'm sure it would be great kudos for you in your trailblazing production, but kids can be exceptionally cruel and I can only imagine the potential for teasing, bullying etc. it's not right that that is the likely reaction, but it's sadly very likely. As OkayHazel says, why not just change round the roles so the male is the minor part.

catgirl1976geesealaying Sun 09-Dec-12 19:16:35

If it's beauty and the beast then surely the fact one of thhem isn't human is a bigger deal than them both being girls

given a girl would be playing a beast, does it matter?

catgirl1976geesealaying Sun 09-Dec-12 19:17:48

Plus - does it need to be "lesbian"

They are acting. It doesn't matter what sex they are. The principle boy in a panto is alwys a girl. There are no lesbian connotations as everyone knows it's acting.

teaguzzler Sun 09-Dec-12 19:18:04

I think age is completely irrelevant. I do however agree that unfortunately as a society we are not quite there yet although i wish we were. On the other hand, will we ever be with that attitude?

manicinsomniac Sun 09-Dec-12 19:19:01

haha DeWe - we're actually doing Daisy Pulls It Off this year as well! That's our straight play, this is our musical.

We choose the main musical a week after the previous year's finishes because we get a professional set and it needs booking nearly a year in advance so we're never quite sure whether we're going to get the people we need for the roles or not. This is the worst boy situation we've ever had. I get what you're saying but the boys we've put in the chorus wouldn't do a bigger part, it's enough of a trial getting them to audition at all. We cast everyone who auditions and do quite major adaptations to allow children who can act but not sing or vice versa to have a chance in a decent role.

thebody Sun 09-Dec-12 19:19:03

Far far too young and I don't like children used as pawns to show how right on the adults are.

Older high school children then that's different perhaps but not at middle school age.

We put on The History Boys in an all girls school a few years ago. Girls playing boys in love with boys, with an openly lesbian girl playing the male, gay teacher... It was brilliant and we had nothing but positive feedback from parents.

Itsaboatjack Sun 09-Dec-12 19:20:36

While okayhazel's suggestion does sound very sensible, I think it's a shame that doing it your way would be so shocking. Surely in this day and age it is quite normal, don't most kids know someone who is gay? I don't know. We live in London so a very diverse mix of friends, my dd's have been to a gay wedding, dd1 didn't even question that they were both women (dd2 was a baby).

What kind of community do you live in, would it be worth pushing the boundaries a bit and opening their eyes to the realies of today?

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