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re: Why not a white "Raisin in the Sun"?
Posted by: Singapore/Fling 03:57 pm EDT 05/16/22
In reply to: re: Why not a white "Raisin in the Sun"? - Zelgo 02:57 pm EDT 05/16/22

Last time I checked, Flower Drum Song, The King and I, Fiddler on the Roof, and Porgy and Bess were not having major productions that were multi-ethnic or color blind. The recent Broadway West Side Story chose to cast one gang with primarily non-Latinx POC, while the other remained, as written, largely Latinx. Otello the opera has long been performed in blackface, so that reflects your point that historically "we" (which sounds universal, but really is about white people and the dominant culture) were just fine with whites playing non-white roles... but now the culture at large realizes that this was a mistake... indeed, even in the Op-Ed, the writer was careful to stay away from questions of race, except to say racial stereotypes are bad.

In another 50 or 100 years, will "we" think it's okay to have casting open to everyone? Perhaps, but a great deal of social, economic, and cultural justice will have to transpire first.

As for Wilson's work... it's first and foremost about the Black American experience. We can all see our humanity in it, but the people on stage are specific to their culture. It's hard to imagine that a day will ever come where audiences (at least in some states) are comfortable watching white people acting out the horrors of white supremacy while embodying Black characters.
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