Broadway’s ‘Rough Little Pill’ vows to correct non-binary erasure – Deadline


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When the Boston area fans sawBroadway performance Alanis Morissette Music small coarse grain In 2018, they saw the actor Lauren Patten Sing a powerful, groovy performance of the hit song “You Oughta Know,” in which the young actor delivers the stunning figure as a lovable – and gender-non-compliant – teenager.

When Broadway audiences watched the same show in 2019 — which reopened from the Covid pandemic shutdown on October 21 at Broadhurst Theater — audiences again saw Tony-nominated Patten in the role, but references to the character being non-binary are all but gone. And on social media, Patten, a woman with a gender, shifted from referring to her serrated Joe’s character as “they” or “them” for “she” or “it”.

When discussing it publicly, the producers insisted that the character was never written or portrayed as non-binary, and described the role more as a young man on Journey of Self-Definition.

Well, it looks like Joe – and Broadway fans – have clarity on their way.

in a extended statement From Vivek J. Tiwary, Arvind Ethan David, and Eva Price, the three major music producers apologize for Joe’s shift from Boston to Broadway and pledge action to rewrite the character and take a more comprehensive approach to the film’s future castings. Job.

“Joe, we set out to portray a character on a gendered expansive journey with no known outcome,” the producers wrote in a statement posted to the show’s social media pages (read it in full below). “Throughout the creative process, as the character developed and changed, between Boston and Broadway, we made mistakes in how we approached this development. In a process designed to clarify and simplify, many lines that suggested Joe is incompatible with gender, and with it, something vital and integral, have been removed, It was removed from Joe’s character’s journey.”

Compounding our mistake, the producers continue, “we then stated publicly and emphatically that Joe was not written or seen as non-binary. He downplayed and dismissed what people saw and felt on this character’s journey. We shouldn’t do that.”

Later, the producers wrote, “We should have protected and celebrated the fact that non-binary audience members saw in Joe a bold, challenging, complex and vibrant representation of their community. For all of this we are deeply sorry.” The producers say their actions put our cast and fans in a difficult position.

In the statement, the producers outline a series of actions they have or will take to rectify the situation, which they describe as an “ongoing process”:

  • The production hired a new theater team that includes nonbinary, transgender cast, and BIPOC’ to revisit and deepen the script. In particular, we commit to clarity and integrity in telling Joe’s story. The story of a gender non-conforming teen who is on an open journey regarding his own eccentricity and sexual identity. “.
  • Producers have put in place practices that “intentionally expand the choice of all roles for artists of all gender identities. We have already done and will continue to make clear that Joe’s character is on a gender journey and will continue to do so, prioritizing audition actors for the role who either go on gender journeys or understand that experience personally—including Artists who are not binary, gender fluid, gender expansive—or otherwise fall under the transgender community umbrella.”
  • The Producers will “develop a more participatory, responsive, safe and equitable work culture, especially for returning and newly recruited non-binary, transgender, gay, and BIPOC members of the company. This work includes listening and learning sessions, transphobia and anti-racism bias training, and ongoing avenues for measurable alliance and advocacy.”
  • Producers have appointed a People and Culture Manager to be a constant source of support, training, and endorsement for the company and crew.
  • The production will partner with The Trevor Project and Trans Lifeline “in order to help amplify their voices and generate needed attention for the important work they do. These relationships will build over time – starting with the initial donation – for a wide range of fundraising and policy initiatives.”

small coarse grainFeaturing Morissette Songs (co-written with Glen Ballard), directed by Diane Paulos and an original story by Diablo Cody, it chronicles a year of picture-perfect suburban family life whose many problems slowly surfaced. The main roles are played by Catherine Gallagher, Celia Rose Gooding, Derek Klina, Sean Alan Creel, Lauren Patten and Elizabeth Stanley.

small coarse grain It was nominated for 15 Tony Awards, including Best Music and Best Director. Among the performers, Patten, Stanley, Kelina, Creel, Gallagher and Gooding will compete for awards next week at the Awards Gala on September 26.

The full statement from the major producers is as follows:

Broadway back. rehearsals small coarse grain Our team, crew, and entire company started full of excitement and anticipation.

The past year and a half has been the most difficult in living memory – difficult for the entire world, and in a specific and existentially worrisome way for our representatives and our company who closed just a few weeks after we started. The relief we get when we know we’ll be together again is palpable and energized.

But before we meet again, there are a few things we need to say:

We want to be aware of the reasonableness and deep malaise about issues of transparency, accountability, and Joe’s character.

We are grateful and grateful to those who have spoken on this topic, both within our company and in our audience. We owe it to you to respond in both words and deeds. It took a moment to implement the actions, so we also apologize for the delay in these words. We recognized the importance of work and decided that doing it well is more important than doing it quickly.

At Jo, we set out to portray a character on an expansive journey between the sexes with no known outcome. Throughout the creative process, as the character developed and changed, between Boston and Broadway, we made mistakes in how we approached that evolution. In a process designed to clarify and simplify, several lines that indicated Joe is gender incompatible, and with it, something vital and integral, has been removed from Joe’s character’s journey.

Double our mistake, we then stated publicly and emphatically that Joe was not written or seen as not binary. It downplayed and rejected what people saw and felt on this character’s journey. We shouldn’t do that.

Instead, we should engage in an open discussion about nuances and the gender spectrum.

We should have protected and celebrated the fact that non-binary audience members saw in Joe a bold, defiant, complex and vibrant representation of their community.

For all this we deeply regret.

As leaders of this very special project, we should have done better and be aware of our failure and its consequences. We have put the cast and fans in a difficult situation. Torn between their love for the show we made and their wound and disappointment over the issue and our words (and then our silence).

Jagged Little Pill addresses many topics: opioid addiction, interracial adoption, sexual abuse, gender identity, marriage crisis, and mental health. So often, we’ve been told “that’s too much” – but always, encouraged by the bravery of our creative team, and most of all by Alanis, we persevered.

We are very proud of our offer and its transformative power. It’s precisely because we’ve made this show on these charged and subtle issues — a show about radical empathy and truth-telling, about protest and vulnerability — that we have to hold ourselves to higher standards. We owe it to the show we’ve made, the exceptional people we’ve worked with, and all of us, to continue to struggle through our imperfections. As a start to this ongoing process, we have taken the following actions:

We’ve hired a new drama team (which includes nonbinary, transgender, and BIPOC casting), to revisit and deepen the script. In particular, we are committed to clarity and integrity in telling Joe’s story. The story of a gender non-conforming teen on an open journey regarding the strangeness and identity of a gender.

We have created practices that intentionally expand the choice of all roles for artists of all gender identities. We have already done and will continue to make clear that Joe’s character is and will continue to be on a gender journey, prioritizing audition actors for the role who either go on gender journeys or personally understand that experience – including non-binary, gender fluid, gender-extended performers – or fall under the community umbrella transgender people.

We will cultivate a more participatory, responsive, safe and equitable work culture, especially for returning and newly recruited non-binary, transgender, gay and BIPOC members of the company. This work includes listening and learning sessions, training on transphobic bias and anti-racism, and ongoing avenues for measurable alliance and advocacy. To support this work, we have brought into our senior leadership team a Director of People and Culture, who will be an ongoing source of support, training, and endorsements for the company and crew.

We partner with The Trevor Project and Trans Lifeline in order to help amplify their voices and attract the attention necessary for the important work they do. These relationships will build over time – starting with the initial donation – for a wide range of fundraising and policy initiatives.

We do these things so that the debate on these issues does not subside. We are humbled and grateful for the important conversations that are still taking place. We welcome everyone who will be building on this project. Broadway has a lot of work to do. We have a lot of work to do. We look forward to doing this together.

Vivek J. Tyuri, Arvind Ethan David, Eva Price –
Principal Producers, Jagged Little Pill
September 17, 2021


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