UPDATE: Alas, it seems the gender-blind casting call for the roles of Aaron Burr and George Washington was a mistake. On Friday, Telsey + Company casting told Buzzfeed News: “We are so excited to find unique and outstanding people for all roles in Hamilton all around America but unfortunately, this is NOT our casting breakdown and does not reflect our current casting criteria.”
We’re quickly losing count of all the ways that Hamilton is revolutionary, but its race-blind casting may end up having the biggest lasting impact well beyond Broadway.
Though the Founding Fathers were all white, the Revolutionary War-era production by writer and star Lin-Manuel Miranda is the most diverse on Broadway, with an entirely non-white main cast.
Now, a new Philadelphia-based casting call for the Grammy-winning show on Backstage.com could further change expectations of who can fill those roles by seeking female as well as male actors for two key parts: President George Washington and Alexander Hamilton’s friend and rival Aaron Burr.
For the role of Washington, the casting call specifies only two requirements: non-white and able to sing tenor/baritone. Men and women between the ages of 30 and 49 are invited to apply.
The requirements for Burr are a bit more specific: non-white men and women ages 20-39, also tenor/baritone and able to sing and rap “in equal measure. Our narrator. A cool, steely reserve. An orphan raised in wealth, plays his cards and opinions close to the vest. Slow to anger, but when he gets there, look out. Javert [from Les Miserables] meets Mos Def.”
The roles of Hamilton, his wife Eliza Schuyler and her sister Angelica are also being cast, though the production is sticking with their original genders. Interestingly, one major role was not included in the casting call — is the talented Daveed Diggsso ridiculously talentedthat he’ll be performing as the Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson in three places at once? (This would not be surprising.)
According to a publicity rep for the production, the casting call applies to roles in the Broadway show as well as the production’s upcoming September expansion into a second home in Chicago and a touring company next year.
So actors, don’t throw away your shot — you’ve got until March 19 to apply.