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School Play + girls can't audition for boys parts

(75 Posts)
Cobblersandhogwash Wed 13-Dec-17 13:30:00

This year's school play is Oliver Twist.

Dd (Year 6) has been told by the deputy head that girls can't audition for the boys parts because the Year 8 boys will get those as it's their last year at the school and they shouldn't be "disappointed". Years 7 and 8 are boys only at dd's school.

Dd is pretty hacked off about this as she really wanted to try out for the Artful Dodger and now she can't. It's her last year too before she goes off to secondary school.

I've emailed the deputy head to ask why he's done this but I've had no response.

Aibu to think this is really unfair on the girls and other brilliant actors at the school who happen not to be boys and in Year 8?

RestingGrinchFace Wed 13-Dec-17 13:36:46

At the school that I went to older children were given preference for leading roles in plays because they needed them for examination purposes. Maybe something similar applies here?

secretBadSanta Wed 13-Dec-17 13:37:20


I think that posters would be outraged if all the best actors happened to be boys and that this meant all male and female parts were played by boys. By keeping the cast as it is, it keeps things fair.

As well as that, they are only children and it's nice to give those a go who won't have another chance in the future. Again, I bet you'd have a different opinion if your daughter was being pushed out by younger children.

In a vaguely similar way, we prioritise children in sports teams at my school who are older. For most events the older children in each category get priority. It also balances nicely meaning they alternate being a priority and then not.

What's stopping her auditioning for Rose?

OneFlewOverTheDodosNest Wed 13-Dec-17 13:40:48

In a more evenly split play I'd say it's fair but as they've chosen a play with only one female character it seems a bit of a daft choice. I do think it's fair to give first shot to older students, but as you said this school only goes up to Y6 for girls but Y8 for boys I'm not sure quite how I'd weight it.

BarbarianMum Wed 13-Dec-17 13:43:40

I think its fine to "reserve" a few key roles by sex. This is what our school do anyway to encourage at least a few boys to try out (previously anything creative -productions, dance, choir always ended up being all girl). They also set up a number of "all girl" sports teams with the result that sport generally has become more mixed.

sirfredfredgeorge Wed 13-Dec-17 13:44:22

But year 6 girls and year 8 boys are both in their final year at the school, so whilst prioritising final year students is reasonable, they aren't doing that, they're only doing it for male students, that does appear strange.

Boudiccaiceni Wed 13-Dec-17 13:50:40

The problem is that most plays written have the best/interesting characters are male.
As you say the year 6 girls are also in their final year, I think it's really poor policy.

MissDuke Wed 13-Dec-17 13:53:12

I agree op. Everyone in their final year there should be able to audition.

irvineoneohone Wed 13-Dec-17 14:00:38

Yes, I agree too. Yr8 or Yr6, if it's their last year of school, they should be given same priority.

MrsHathaway Wed 13-Dec-17 14:15:48

DC1's play last term was Oliver! and although all the big parts went to leavers they were pretty flexible about girls playing boys and men because otherwise they'd all have been competing for about three parts.

Do all the girls leave after Y6 or does it depend on their destination? Two of us left my primary school in the "wrong" year and the school was very careful to slot us in to the leavers play. And that was the 1990s!

allertse Wed 13-Dec-17 14:22:32

Since they chose a play with pretty much all boy parts I think that's a bit off! particularly if it's also the girls' last year at the school

onadifferentplanet Wed 13-Dec-17 14:27:30

There are plenty of girl roles in Oliver and presumably if girls only go to Year 6 Nancy and Bet will be Year 6s. Can she not audition for those roles? There is also Mrs Sowberry and Mrs Bumble who have great songs too. Its not as though girls are being excluded from getting main roles altogether. Does it happen like this every year or is it just unfortunate that in your daughter's leaving year its the show that's been chosen

Cobblersandhogwash Wed 13-Dec-17 14:41:05

Yes, the school only goes up to year 6 for girls. So this is the girls' last year too.

Seniorcitizen1 Wed 13-Dec-17 14:54:17

Boys get the male parts girls the female parts - seems fair to me. Girls dressing as boys as might confuse them

LouHotel Wed 13-Dec-17 14:54:26

Theyve picked a predominately male cast play so YANBU and its piss poor by the school.

Cobblersandhogwash Wed 13-Dec-17 15:01:13

Just been to the middle school play where boys played girls roles and vice versa.

Isn't it a theatrical tradition for both sexes to be able to play the opposite?

Lovestonap Wed 13-Dec-17 15:08:49

I'm sure a 13 year old boy would probably do a better job of the artful dodger than an 11 year old girl. Maybe they want to keep the standard high.

Andrewofgg Wed 13-Dec-17 15:10:28

This is not panto is it?

I know Sarah Bernhardt played Hamlet and Glenda Jackson played Lear, but the average school play actor is not in their league. Seniorcitizen2 is spot on. Girls playing male roles or vice versa is just a distraction for the audience.

Cobblersandhogwash Wed 13-Dec-17 15:11:42

Really, Lovesonstap? Three of the girls in Year 6 have been training with LAMDA since reception.

PavlovianLunge Wed 13-Dec-17 15:12:50

I'm sure a 13 year old boy would probably do a better job of the artful dodger than an 11 year old girl.

Genuine question; why? Personally, I’d want to see the beat person for the role. Their sex, in this case, wouldn’t matter to me in the slightest.

Cobblersandhogwash Wed 13-Dec-17 15:13:05

SeniorCitizen1, might confuse who?

PavlovianLunge Wed 13-Dec-17 15:13:40

And by the same token, are you sure that Dr Who is better played by a 50-something man than a 30-something woman?

AsMenDclaredWomenTheirInferior Wed 13-Dec-17 15:22:43

They call it acting for a reason?

You the audience, suspend your disbelief that the actor who is playing a murderer is not really a murderer.

If you can't suspend your disbelief for the actor. it is not the actor who is at fault, it is you, with your lack of imagination.

wildbluebelles Wed 13-Dec-17 15:25:27

What's stopping her auditioning for Rose?

Who is Rose?

secretBadSanta Wed 13-Dec-17 15:57:06

She's Oliver's Aunt.

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