CMU School of Drama

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Standing Up for Playwrights and Against ‘Colorblind’ Casting

AMERICAN THEATRE: Last November, we witnessed two troubling examples of university productions disrespecting a playwright’s intent in regard to casting. Clarion University in Pennsylvania had to cancel their production of Lloyd Suh’s Jesus in India after neglecting to inform the playwright that they had cast white students in roles written for South Asian actors. This news came on the heels of Katori Hall’s eloquent objection to a production at Kent State of The Mountaintop that featured a white actor playing Martin Luther King Jr. Diep Tran’s article on (“On the Rights of Playwrights and White Tears”) provides further context to events that have ignited both productive debate and reprehensible personal attacks.

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