Friday, June 21, 2013

Questions, Reactions, Explorations of Race in Theater (new Theater Pub column)

Who'd have thought that a madcap, farcical comedy would prove to be one of the more controversial plays in New York? But when a Filipino-American actor wrote a blog post revealing that he had been passed over for the role of a "tribal chief" in favor of a white performer, it caused a stir on Facebook and Twitter.

Despite reading the actor's post and thinking I'd probably boycott this play if I ever got the chance to see it, I unwittingly ended up buying tickets to the show, and saw a preview when I was in New York last week.

Of course, I had to write about the experience -- my thoughts, my questions -- for my new Theater Pub column. What should I have done when I realized that I had bought tickets to a play whose casting reflected values that I do not agree with?

Feel free to post your suggestions in the comments of my Theater Pub post. The comments also contain a more straightforward review of the show in question (The Explorers Club by Nell Benjamin) as well as brief thoughts on the other play I saw while in NYC -- Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812.

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