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Gender-Neutral Narrator

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The Narrator is a common character type in stage shows. And frequently, the narrator's gender will be unspecified and irrelevant to the story. This trope is for those characters.


  • The Leading Player from Pippin is perhaps the most well-known version.
  • The Stage Manager from Our Town.
  • Despite only being in the first and last scenes, the actor in A.R. Gurney Richard Cory serves a narrator-like purpose and is not of a specified gender.
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  • The Chorus from Henry V.
  • Assassins:
    • The Balladeer, apart from being referenced as "boy" once by Booth, could be played as female. Only in the original staging, though: the revival, and most touring companies thereafter, require the Balladeer to be male because he's actually Lee Harvey Oswald.
    • The Proprietor is occasionally played by a woman, in which case she doubles as Emma Goldman. He's a Badass Baritone, but otherwise his gender is more or less irrelevant.
  • Same goes for The Narrator in Blood Brothers.
  • The Cat in the Hat in Seussical. While generally depicted as male, at least two women (Rosie O'Donnell and Cathy Rigby) have played the character.
  • The Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is an interesting example: as written, the character has no specific gender, but is now always played by a woman to amend for the complete lack of female characters (other than Potiphar's Wife).
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  • Not necessarily the narrator of the story, but the Book Voice of J. Pierrepont Finch's book How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying in the musical of the same name could arguably fit this trope; in most of the productions it's usually a male.
  • The Narrator in Into the Woods is not gender-specified until he is pulled into the story by the characters, but it would be easy enough to change a few pronouns. However, following Original Cast Precedent, the Narrator doubles as The Mysterious Man and has been played by a male.
  • Pseudolus, in Sondheim's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, is usually played by a male actor, but Whoopi Goldberg replaced Nathan Lane in a Broadway revival.
  • In Finale, the Narrator is played by a woman in the original cast, but is not referred to as such anywhere explicitly in the script.


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