Thursday, October 18, 2012

Casting white people in "black" roles isn't just happening in Boston . . .

The issues that Beverly Creasey and I have begun discussing in an ongoing series (and which we chewed over on Tuesday with the new task force on diversity that is forming at StageSource) seem to be surfacing globally. (So once again the Hub is on the cutting edge of a racist trend!) Playwright Bruce Norris has just pulled the rights to a production of his play Clybourne Park in Berlin because, he learned second-hand, in a pivotal African-American role, the German theatre (literally the Deutsches Theatre) had cast a white actress. In blackface. What's more, according to Norris, this practice is often accepted in Germany!  (He is instituting a petition and boycott to end the practice.)   You can read his letter on the subject to the Dramatists Guild here.

2 comments:

  1. My first college production was "Of Mice And Men." The director claims he "couldn't find" a black actor to play Crooks, so he cast a white actor and edited out all references to race, explaining instead that he was banned from the bunkhouse because he was "a little crazy." I mean, it was upstate Maine, but still...

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