Following a nationwide casting search, the pilot for FX’s new series Pose will feature five transgender actors in series regular roles—the highest number on television yet for a scripted series. The new drama about life in New York City in the ‘80s (including the ball scene) is produced by FX, Fox 21, and Ryan Murphy, the showrunner behind American Horror Story, Feud, Glee, and Scream Queens.
Among the history-making actors are a number of theatre artists including MJ Rodriguez (Street Children), Dominique Jackson (Incongruence), and Hailie Sahar (Charm). Indya Moore and Angelica Ross have also been cast in principal roles; all five actors will be playing transgender characters, according to FX.
Additional casting for Pose includes Tony winner Billy Porter, Holler if Ya Hear Me’s Dyllon Burnside, and Ryan Jamaal Swain (God’s Rock). Further casting will be announced soon.
Set in the 1980s, Pose takes a look at three very different worlds that make New York City what it is: the rise of the Trump-era generation, the downtown social and literary scene, and the ball culture scene.
Trans activist director Silas Howard will serve as the co-executive producer for the series, while Hector Xtravaganza, Skylar King and Sol Williams, all participants in the ball culture scene of the 1980s, will serve as consultants on Pose.
In collaboration with Murphy’s Half Initiative, the series will be bringing on emerging transgender directors to be mentored through his Directing Mentorship Program.
“We are thrilled that Pose pushes the narrative forward by centering on the unique and under-told experiences of trans women and gay people of color,” says co-creator Steven Canals. “Ryan has assembled a strong team of storytellers and innovators to collaborate on telling this important narrative. As a Bronx-bred queer writer of color, I'm honored to aid in ushering this groundbreaking show into homes.”
Murphy co-created Pose with Canals and Brad Falchuk. His American Crime Story collaborators Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story ) also serve as executive producers. Alexis Martin Woodall (The Normal Heart, FEUD, American Horror Story) and Sherry Marsh (Vikings) will additionally serve as executive producers of the series. Alexa Fogel (Atlanta) is the show’s casting director.
Check out Playbill’s roundtable discussion with these pioneering trans artists from the theatre: