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When is blind casting okay?

icecreambenjamin Profile Photo
icecreambenjamin
Featured Actor
joined:6/7/14
When is blind casting okay?
Posted: 7/5/14 at 04:21pm
I'm talking about color-blind and gender-blind casting.
Jordan Catalano Profile Photo
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
When is blind casting okay?
Posted: 7/5/14 at 04:26pm

Fasten your seatbelts...






Updated On: 7/5/14 at 04:26 PM
TheGingerBreadMan Profile Photo
TheGingerBreadMan
Broadway Star
joined:12/7/12
When is blind casting okay?
Posted: 7/5/14 at 04:26pm
When it is non-essential to the plot of the show.

Examples: There can't be a white Seaweed in Hairspray because the racial differences are a very big part of the plot. There can't be a female Angel in Rent because the fact that he is a man who cross-dresses as a woman is a huge part of the character.
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Mr. Nowack
Broadway Star
joined:2/2/14
When is blind casting okay?
Posted: 7/5/14 at 04:28pm
Generally you should try to cast color blindly whenever the ethnicity isn't a central part of the character. Obviously a white Motormouth or black Velma wouldn't work in Hairspray, but a black or Hispanic Javert or Eponine in Les Miz works fine.

Gender blind casting is somewhat more tricky, because a lot of times a character's relationships with other characters are based on whether the character is male or female.

I was previously known as Mr. Nowak (Joined: 5/20/13).
Updated On: 7/5/14 at 04:28 PM
icecreambenjamin Profile Photo
icecreambenjamin
Featured Actor
joined:6/7/14
When is blind casting okay?
Posted: 7/5/14 at 04:30pm
I'm just asking because my director likes to have something about the struggles of black people even when it doesn't make sense.
He would make Maria black and set the Sound of music in 1960's Mississippi.
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Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
When is blind casting okay?
Posted: 7/5/14 at 04:35pm
I think that for the majority of shows, blind casting works just fine. But, it doesnt work in shows like Memphis or Hairspray where racial relations is a main theme.

I saw a blind production of Hairspray and it was all f*cked up.
Dilettante
Jordan Catalano Profile Photo
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
When is blind casting okay?
Posted: 7/5/14 at 04:35pm
PLEEEEEEEEASE film that and put it on YouTube.

I'm BEGGING you!
E.Davis Profile Photo
E.Davis
Broadway Legend
joined:1/1/08
When is blind casting okay?
Posted: 7/5/14 at 04:36pm
As someone said in another thread last night, R&H shows were written for a specific period. In my own opinion doing that kind of concept doesn't work because what is there to gain from it other than being "hip, and cutting edge". You would also need to change the libretto to reflect the lack of Austria, Germany or the growing Third Reich. Something that the R&H Estate would never allow in a million years.
Maria can be black, Audra is black, so why can't Maria.
"I think lying to children is really important, it sets them off on the right track" -Sherie Rene Scott-
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PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
When is blind casting okay?
Posted: 7/5/14 at 04:37pm
I'm just asking because my director likes to have something about the struggles of black people even when it doesn't make sense.
He would make Maria black and set the Sound of music in 1960's Mississippi.


You're lying.

yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
Jordan Catalano Profile Photo
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
When is blind casting okay?
Posted: 7/5/14 at 04:38pm
I want that to be true so bad.
icecreambenjamin Profile Photo
icecreambenjamin
Featured Actor
joined:6/7/14
When is blind casting okay?
Posted: 7/5/14 at 04:54pm
It's true he's doing Cabaret with a color blind cast because he feels that "his people" are still being treated like the Jews during the Holocaust.
E.Davis Profile Photo
E.Davis
Broadway Legend
joined:1/1/08
When is blind casting okay?
Posted: 7/5/14 at 04:57pm
And who are "his people"?
"I think lying to children is really important, it sets them off on the right track" -Sherie Rene Scott-
icecreambenjamin Profile Photo
icecreambenjamin
Featured Actor
joined:6/7/14
When is blind casting okay?
Posted: 7/5/14 at 05:01pm
He refers to African-Americans as "his people"
Jordan Catalano Profile Photo
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
When is blind casting okay?
Posted: 7/5/14 at 05:34pm
Just so you're clear about something - your director is an idiot.
Someone in a Tree2 Profile Photo
Someone in a Tree2
Broadway Star
joined:10/9/12
When is blind casting okay?
Posted: 7/5/14 at 05:39pm
As they so wisely put it in the brilliant "Tropic Thunder", "what do you mean, MY people?"
ljay889 Profile Photo
ljay889
Broadway Legend
joined:8/4/04
When is blind casting okay?
Posted: 7/5/14 at 05:44pm
This thread is hilarious. Is the OP a troll?
icecreambenjamin Profile Photo
icecreambenjamin
Featured Actor
joined:6/7/14
When is blind casting okay?
Posted: 7/5/14 at 05:44pm
No I thought it might be an interesting discussion


Updated On: 7/5/14 at 05:44 PM
justincharacter Profile Photo
justincharacter
Broadway Star
joined:6/11/13
When is blind casting okay?
Posted: 7/5/14 at 05:44pm

@your director

PalJoey Profile Photo
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
When is blind casting okay?
Posted: 7/5/14 at 05:45pm

You're lying.

You're a lying troll.

You're a lying troll who's lying.



yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
JoeKv99 Profile Photo
JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
When is blind casting okay?
Posted: 7/5/14 at 05:47pm
I saw a production of Sound of Music set in a french penal colony. Maria was played by a mulatto mute hunchback. Made you think.
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
icecreambenjamin Profile Photo
icecreambenjamin
Featured Actor
joined:6/7/14
When is blind casting okay?
Posted: 7/5/14 at 05:47pm
I'm sorry I said yup to Jordan saying he was an idiot
This is actually true
FishermanBob Profile Photo
FishermanBob
Broadway Legend
joined:7/9/12
When is blind casting okay?
Posted: 7/5/14 at 05:48pm
As long as people seem to keep wanting to take this topic to its illogical extreme, have we considered species-blind casting? I know of a Ring-tailed Lemur who I think would be perfect for Mrs. Lovett.
icecreambenjamin Profile Photo
icecreambenjamin
Featured Actor
joined:6/7/14
When is blind casting okay?
Posted: 7/5/14 at 05:49pm
^Yes please
Jordan Catalano Profile Photo
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
When is blind casting okay?
Posted: 7/5/14 at 05:50pm
My director is doing a musical version of MISSISSIPPI BURNING but setting it in 1981 London since he thinks punk rock was wrongfully treated by the mainstream the same as southern black people in the 60's.
icecreambenjamin Profile Photo
icecreambenjamin
Featured Actor
joined:6/7/14
When is blind casting okay?
Posted: 7/5/14 at 05:54pm
When we did Little shop he tried to make a statement about race by making Audrey black. The role was soo far out of her singing range. She sounded like Beyonce in a wood chipper.
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GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
When is blind casting okay?
Posted: 7/5/14 at 05:55pm
I think the first posters on this thread hit the nail on the head. Color-blind casting is justified when (a) it gives opportunities to more actors and/or (b) it tells us something we wouldn't otherwise know from traditional casting, WITHOUT (c) causing more confusion than clarity.

Personally I don't mind if we shrink the historical boundaries of Jim Crow segregation a little in order to make a more interesting cast.

For example, when I was at Columbia U. I directed a production of VANITIES. For reasons of fairness, I couldn't do the play if women of color were to be excluded. So I did a little research and found that some Texas high schools were newly integrated in 1963 (Act I). So I cast a black woman as Kathy and we played her as a black kid who acted "white" in order to fit in with the popular kids, including the other cheerleaders.

But the casting really paid off in Act III, when Kathy is highly alienated from her friends and even from her own identity and life. By giving her a close-croppsed Afro in that act (and without changing a word), we gave Act III a political subtext that most found very moving.

So it was win-win: I provided work for a talented black actress AND I added something to an already excellent play. (In contrast, I would not have cast "Southern belle" Joanne as black. The character's racial ignorance would have only been confusing.)

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