Adi Roy will make his Broadway debut as Phoenix when “Jagged Little Pill” resumes performances Thursday with a reworked script.
Roy takes over the role from original cast member Antonio Cipriano, who announced Sept. 26 that he would not return to the show. Cipriano was originally announced as part of the reopening cast, but later said he would not return, while citing harm caused to trans and nonbinary individuals in the community.
“I’m hopeful for a more equitable future where the right changes and protection are put into action,” Cipriano wrote.
Cipriano’s statement comes after Nora Schell, an original cast member of “Jagged Little Pill” and a nonbinary actor, publicly posted allegations of mistreatment while working on the show. Schell alleged the “Jagged Little Pill” stage manager and other members of the management team repeatedly dismissed their need for medical treatment.
In response to Schell’s claim, Actors’ Equity hired labor attorney Micah Wissinger to investigate workplace conditions. “Jagged Little Pill” hired law firm Jay Hewlin and The Hewlin Group to conduct its own independent investigation. Actors’ Equity did not immediately responded to a request for comment on the status of the investigation. A spokesperson for the production said there was not yet an update on the investigation and pointed to the producers’ original statement.
The show had previously faced criticism for its treatment of gender identity and what was seen as the erasure of the nonbinary storyline of Jo, played by cisgender actor Lauren Patten. In response, “Jagged Little Pill” hired a director of people and culture to address workplace concerns. The show also brought on three dramaturgs to take another look at the script.
“With the deeply thoughtful work from three new and incredibly talented members of the team, dramaturgs Martine Kei Green-Rogers, MJ Kaufman and Lauren Whitehead, we reexamined the show with a fresh lens to embrace the new consciousness of this country — and the nuances of conversations around race, addiction, gender, and sexual assault,” said Diablo Cody, who recently won a Tony Award for writing the book to the musical.
The reopening cast for “Jagged Little Pill” includes Heidi Blickenstaff, who will play the lead role of Mary Jane Healy in October and later alternate the part with original cast member Elizabeth Stanley. Morgan Dudley will take over the role of Frankie Healy, previously played by Celia Rose Gooding. Returning cast members include Derek Klena as Nick Healy, Sean Allan Krill as Steve Healy, Kathryn Gallagher as Bella and Patten as Jo.