A closer look at the reason behind Drama’s lack of males


Vivian Chiang

Co-reported by Emma Lam.

In the Advanced Drama room, students milled around, chatting with each other. Some practiced memorizing lines, others just fooled around. High-pitched laughter could be heard, drowning out the deeper male voices. A closer look reveals the unbalanced proportion of the class. There were 24 girls and 6 guys. In the Beginning Drama classroom, the ratio was 3:1. What makes drama such a female-heavy class?

“I’m not sure what the real reason is, but I believe it has to do with the academic nature of this school,” said sophomore Yash Goyal, an Advanced Drama student. “Everyone is driven towards academics, so already the number of people in drama is low.”

To make matters worse, most of the lead roles in the plays are male figures, forcing girls to compensate for the lack of guys in the production by switching gender roles.

“When we do scenes, and girls have to play male roles, we just talk slower and lower,” said freshman Dorothy Chou, who is taking Beginning Drama.

Chou went to a summer camp called the California Theater Center where she had the same experience when it comes to the ratio of males to females in drama.

“In CTC, there were 4 guys and each show would only have 2. So when we did plays, a lot of the plays had main guy roles so the directors would put the only two guys in the main roles.” said Chou.

Looking into the problem, sophomore Megumi Pennebaker, co-director of Romeo and Juliet and an advanced drama student believes that one way or another, there needs to be change around campus. Actions as easy as advertising and ignoring stereotypes could help attract more guys.

“Guys might not be very interested in drama because of the fact that it’s ‘too girly.’ There is probably more appeal towards the academic culture. It may be a stereotype,” Pennebaker said.

The lack of male students has been an ongoing problem not only at MVHS. Read below to see some of the ideas proposed by drama students to recruit more male actors in drama.