As with “colour-blind casting,” this term has ableist connotations, though it has been used to describe the practice of casting actors to play roles whose gender identity is different from their own. The most significant difference between “gender-swapped” or “gender-conscious” casting and “gender-blind casting” is the director’s intention. It is considered “gender-blind casting” when the gender of the performer is not intended to change any aspects of the character or the play itself. In many cases, however, gender-blind casting causes significant changes to how a story is told, whether intentionally or unintentionally. For more, see Lister, Minnicino, Sheehan-Clark.

Sources and Further Reading:

“A ‘Gender-Blind’ ‘King Lear’ Features a Woman in the Title Role.” Maclean’s, vol. 108, no. 14, 3 Apr. 1995, pp. 65. ProQuest,

Lister, David. “The Opening of Two Shakespeare Productions Signal a Considerable Leap Forward for Gender-Blind Casting.” Independent, 29 Jun. 2016,

Minnicino, Matthew. “He That Plays the King.” HowlRound Theatre Commons, 29 Apr. 2016,

Sheehan-Clark, Lauren. “Limitations of Gender-Swapped Theater: A Closer Look at West End’s ‘Company’ Revival.” The Daily Californian, 21 Mar. 2019,