Thursday, August 04, 2005

Shaving for the role

Nancy Duckles of Tennessee is an actress, and she has shaved her head.
Instead, she wants to feel authentic when she gets on stage this weekend to play a woman with ovarian cancer. She both produces and plays the lead role of Vivian Bearing in "Wit," Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play being performed this weekend by DuckEars Theater Company as a benefit for the American Cancer Society.

"I never considered not shaving my head. I was afraid if it didn't look completely natural, I'd lose the audience; they'd be paying attention to the fact I was wearing a skullcap. I wanted them to take the journey with me," she said.
Women shaving their head for a role is not very common, but it does have precedent. Glenda Jackson famously shaved her head to play the role of Queen Elizabeth I in the BBC series Elizabeth R.

Still, a woman shaving her head is still very rare, and it's considered a much greater sacrifice than if a man would shave his head for a role (for instance, Michael Rosenbaum).

1 comment:

Heidi said...

How about women who do it for something even bigger then some role in a play or movie.

Just over two years ago now, I shaved my head with 14 of my male colleagues to help raise money for cancer in honour of one colleagues 6 year old nephew who had been living and fighting brain cancer his whole non infant life.

I was the only woman in our department to do it, and in an organization of over 14000 employees I was the only woman to have a shaved head. I've kept it and since then three more employees have done it for a one time thing.

I continue to keep my head shaved because I love everything about it, how people react to it (good and bad) and how it makes me a stronger and more beautiful person.

The irony is, two months ago I was diagnosed with Stage 2b Breast Cancer, for which I am undergoing radiation treatment now.