Actresses Cast to Play Karl Rove and Lee Atwater in Gender-Swapped ‘College Republicans’ Script

Actresses Mae Whitman and Alexis Bledel are set to play Karl Rove and Lee Atwater at a gender-swapped live reading of the Black List script College Republicans in Hollywood this April.

College Republicans — a screenplay that topped the 2010 Black List of the best un-produced scripts in the industry — centers on a young Rove as he works with Atwater to become the chairman of the national College Republicans organization.

Here’s the official synopsis from the reading’s Eventbrite page:

“In this buddy comedy based on true events, aspiring political Karl Rove decides he wants to become the next national chairman of the College Republicans organization. But the odds are stacked against him. With the help of his campaign manager Lee Atwater, he embarks on a road trip and discovers some dirty tricks along the way… what will happen at the contested (College) Republican Convention? Join us to find out!”

The live reading is set to take place at the Montalban Theater in Hollywood on April 23. Other actors taking on roles in the production include Tyler Hoechlin as Tom Redstone, Skylar Astin as Terry Dolan, Chace Crawford as John Kinney, Zach Woods as James Costello and Shannon Woodward as Kate King.

The script was written by Wes Jones, who is currently handling writing duties on Showtime’s Billions.

In a statement, Black List founder Franklin Leonard said that the GOP’s “record on women’s issues” lends itself perfectly to the casting of two women to play Rove and Atwater.

“At this moment in American political history, there is quite literally no more appropriate script for a Black List live reading than Wes Jones’ College Republicans,” Leonard said, according to The Wrap. “And given the GOP’s record on women’s issues, gender flipping Atwater and Rove feels particularly appropriate.”

Black List scripts are often performed live with famous actors playing roles they ordinarily wouldn’t play. The last Black List Live! reading was a performance of Reagan, with Lena Dunham cast as Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan.

Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum


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