After 174 Years, Hasty Pudding Theatricals at Harvard Will Cast WomenHere’s Jack Lemmon using his Hasty Pudding training to good effect:
By JESS BIDGOOD JAN. 25, 2018
BOSTON — The Hasty Pudding Theatricals, an irreverent Harvard theater troupe that has not cast women since it began staging productions in 1844, announced on Thursday that, for the very first time, it would encourage women to audition this year….
The Hasty Pudding Theatricals, which calls itself the world’s third-oldest theater organization and boasts Franklin D. Roosevelt and Jack Lemmon as alumni, is famous for its glitzy annual drag shows, which have long used satire and parody to skewer the political and social elite as well as the topical themes of the day.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find on Youtube any video of FDR famously delivering his 1934 State of the Union address in drag, but of course the national high spirits that ensued boosted the Dow Jones Average into two digits, although, unfortunately, only temporarily.
Women have long worked on those performances behind the scenes, but in keeping its cast resolutely all-male, the club seemed ever more like the stodgy relics it might have targeted. …Not getting the joke has become a career path.
The university’s administration has also trained its focus on the school’s remaining single-gender organizations and exclusive social clubs, like fraternities, sororities and its rarefied Final Clubs, which were all-male social groups for much of their history. (The Hasty Pudding Theatricals is not exclusively male, because women work on the crews of its shows and play other roles in the organization. Still, the casts have always been all-male.) …
“How does the sexist throwback that is the Hasty Pudding Theatricals still exist?” wrote Yvonne Abraham, a columnist for The Boston Globe.