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Encourage More Boys To Join Youth Theatre

13 The Musical
Spotlight Youth Theatre

I remember going for a walk one day in the summer while listening to the album, Sondheim on Sondheim. While I knew most of the songs featured in the tribute, there was one unfamiliar song that became my favorite.

The song was called Talent and it is from a lesser-known Sondheim musical called Roadshow. The opening to the song goes as follows; “When I was a tyke, I said what I like is art. I know I'm a boy, but what I enjoy is art.” I'm sure I'm not alone when I say, as one who identifies as a straight male, I can relate with this song.

It all goes back to when I first started liking theater at twelve years old and joined my middle school's drama club. As is common amongst adolescent males, I was made fun of by the other guys for being involved in singing and dancing and not being into sports. I mostly ignored that. But what I could not ignore was how we had a Mommy Warbucks in our production of Annie. And then in the following year, we had a female Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls. And in eighth grade, my final show in middle school, we had a girl playing Motel, the tailor, in Fiddler On the Roof.

Now I have nothing against gender blind casting, but what I would like to know is why are there never enough boys in children's theater programs? Why is it that there is a stigma with theater not being considered masculine?

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