Theatres in Britain are now being asked to ditch the “Ladies and Gentlemen” phrase to meet gender-neutral terms that are stated in the release of the new guidelines by the actors’ trade union Equity.
In the new guidelines, theaters are being encouraged to use gender-neutral terminology for collective calls in front of everyone and backstage.
The National Theatre announced that they are going to stop using the term “ladies and gentlemen” so they won’t make their LGBTQ workers feel terrible.
In a statement that was released by a spokesperson of the Theatre, it mentioned, “We do not use ‘ladies and gentlemen’ back of the house and this is being phased out in our front-of-house announcements.”
The Royal Shakespeare Company said they are going to carry out a review of the new policies that are mentioned in the guidelines and are looking closely at their signings, introduction, and announcements.
The Royal Shakespeare Company accepted the guidelines and said that they are going to make sure Trans people will be welcomed and supported in the theatre world.
Nica Burns, the co-owner of the Nimax Theaters, released a statement about the new guidelines and said, “Coming to the theatre is a shared and communal experience in one single auditorium and we want to please our audience and give them a great evening. We wouldn’t want anyone to feel offended or annoyed.”
Theaters are now going to use simple phrases such as welcome and good evening to audiences instead of being gender-specific.
When it comes to actors, the guidelines say that theaters should avoid backhanded compliments or advice that are regarding “appearance, clothing, voice quality, identity or the performer being brave.”
The actors’ trade union Equity is now urging theaters to choose transgender people to play non-trans characters.
The guidelines by the actors’ trade union Equity said it is hard for Trans actors to build a career out of the very small amount of trans-specific roles “if these are the only roles for which they are actively sought.”
Tigger Blaize, a member of the Equity LGBT+, said, “We are really excited about launching our guide. It’s designed to be a toolkit of ideas, encouraging industry professionals to feel confident in approaching performers who identify as LGBT+, if they were previously unsure.”
LGBT rights campaigners say phrases such as ‘ladies and gentlemen’ exclude them from being part of the crowd.