The Rise of Vaudeville
- As vaudeville arose in the 19th century, male actors began to adopt drag roles as part of their repertoir.
- Women would also portray men in so-called "breeches" roles. Actresses such as Sarah Bernhardt gained fame for this
- There tended to be two types of cross-dressing roles for men:
- Men would play female roles with great farcical exaggeration, usually portraying old, shrewish, or unattractive women
- For comic effect, a man would disguise himself as a woman
- These vaudevillian roles would extend into the early days of cinema, as will be related in the next chapter.
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