Auckland's Pop-up Globe Theatre has backed down on its decision to have all-male casts for its upcoming season.
Pop-up Globe founder Miles Gregory has announced the theatre company will now have 14 women and 14 men making up two 50:50 gender-balanced casts.
Mr Gregory said the company would also commit to cast equal numbers of male and female actors for every new Auckland season.
The Pop-up Globe had come under fire for deciding to cast solely men in its performances of Richard III and the Taming of the Shrew.
Lexie Matheson, honoured in 2016 for services to the arts and LGBTQI rights, has performed in previous pop-up shows and said she was surprised to learn the all-male casts were being used to highlight movements like the #MeToo campaign against sexual harassment.
"This seems to fly in the face of that movement, even though it says the whole thing is being motivated by that," she said.
"To have an all-male cast of Shakespeare's play about misogyny where the whole tenor of the play [The Taming of the Shrew] is the battle of the sexes ... just seems bizarre."
The company had said that the move would highlight the abuse of power in Shakepeare's plays.