trouser role

(redirected from Breeches role)
Also found in: Wikipedia.

trouser role

n.
1. A male dramatic role, often that of a youth, written for or customarily performed by a woman.
2. A dramatic role in which a female character disguises herself as a man.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Hume by suggesting that Jeremy Collier's attack on London theatres in his Short View of the English Stage did affect the playwrights, while Winkler closely analyses the impact of Anne Bracegirdle singing a breeches role in the apparently innocent pastoral, The Fickle Shepherdess, during the Collier Controversy.
Lauren Morris overdoes Cherubino's gawkiness, though we can sympathise with a woman in a breeches role having to portray a boy impersonating a peasant girl; even I get confused.
In the breeches role of the Composer, Sarah Connolly was outstanding.
The star of the evening is undoubtedly Lorraine Payne as Oscar, controlled and sparky, laying on the "butch" bodylanguage in this breeches role, her voice well-produced and carrying.
Kym Sheargold projects crystal-clear diction as the venomous Vitellia, Claire Stoneman's vocal placement is willing and capable in the breeches role of Sextus, the lover she induces to assassinate his best friend, the Emperor Titus, and Valerie Matthews is a sympathetic foil as Annius.
(However, later evidence will suggest that Nancy Hallam, a young member of the Hallam-Douglass Company, was acting in breeches roles as early as 1759.)
Since the words are names and not concepts, this is a nonissue until we come to his comment on "breeches roles" as being dictated solely by the characteristics of the costume (pants), rather than by voice type, acting, and physical appearance of a female singer in a young male role.
He's better known for his smock and breeches roles in costume dramas, but to prepare for his latest role, Nathaniel Parker had to tackle something far more realistic.
He occasionally refers to various well-known points: the woman alone with children, the fascination with breeches roles on the part of the audience, the woman manager and her position of power, and "that vast army of Victorian ladies determined to change the world" (11).
Polite society tended to deplore "breeches roles" for women and yet it was something in which Mrs Jordan and others, shown in this book, had excelled.