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BEND, Ore. (AP) — A Bend community theater has been forced to change the gender of a character in an ongoing production back to the way it was originally written in the script.

Karen Sipes, the director for the Bend production “9 to 5: The Musical”, decided to change one of the character’s gender from male to female after an overwhelming number of female actors came out for auditions, she said.

There were few male actors for the show, in which three female office workers take revenge upon their sexist, egotistical, bigoted boss.

Music Theatre International, the agency that licenses rights to the show, has requested the Cascades Theatrical Company change the character’s gender back to male in future productions, the Bulletin reported this week.

“The problem is that in the contract, it says that we can’t change pronouns, and we can’t change gender, basically. . If a woman’s going to do a man’s role, they have to dress as a man, keep the name of the man and play the role as a man,” Howard Huskey said, the theater’s business manager.

Actress Natalie Kniola will continue to play Joe, a junior accountant, but she will be now be dressed and addressed as a man on stage.

Actors playing characters of a different gender is not uncommon in theater.

A representative for Music Theatre International could not be reached for comment.


Information from: The Bulletin,