Non-binary Jesus Christ is a new sort of superstar

Jan 24, 2023 by

by Marc Horne, The Times:

A landmark musical has been resurrected for the 21st century, with a non-binary actor taking the role of Jesus and Judas Iscariot being played by a woman.

Jesus Christ Superstar has been prompting controversy and filling theatres since it was written by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sir Tim Rice more than half a century ago.

Now students from the Edinburgh University Savoy Opera Group will launch the world’s first gender-neutral production of the rock opera today.

In the adaptation, which has been approved and licensed by Lloyd Webber, Roza Stevenson — who uses the pronouns they/them — will play Jesus, while the 12 apostles will be portrayed by female or non-binary performers.

Lew Forman, the creative producer, said the production had adopted “gender-blind casting” to reinvent the story of Jesus’s final days for a modern audience. “Jesus is remembered as being a man, but who are we to decide?” he said. “None of us were around 2,000 years ago. It’s the same story and songs but the audience will view it from a different perspective.”

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