Due to the subject matter and plot, HAIRSPRAY requires non-diverse casting. Having a black actress playing Tracy, Edna, Penny or any of the other female caucasian roles ruins the entire message of the musical.
It definitely sounds like a dig at multiple shows, of which DEH is one. When a show is 90% white, and they make a small supporting character black (it really is the smallest role in the show) can you really call that diversity? Especially compared to some shows that have really embraced race-neutral casting, like Les Mis or Great Comet**I'm not talking about shows where the character's race is important to the plot, like Hairspray or Doubt or Hamilton, where it's essential to the plot for all the roles to be specifically about one race. Nothing in Dear Evan Hansen, Hello Dolly, Next to Normal, etc is specifically about race
BrodyFosse123 said: "Due to the subject matter and plot, HAIRSPRAY requires non-diverse casting. Having a black actress playing Tracy, Edna, Penny or any of the other female caucasian roles ruins the entire message of the musical."Your point?Yes, there are shows where the racial make-up of the cast absolutely matters. But for most shows, it doesn't -- yet white is still the default. There's no reason, for example, that any of the roles in Dear Evan Hansen couldn't be played by performers who aren't white.
And I mean, having a token POC is better than entirely white (Looking at you, N2N)But I think the point people are trying to make is, we should be expecting better from shows. All shows should be asking, can this role be played by a POC? Why is the entire main cast white? Should it be?And sometimes, the answer will be yes. Doubt springs to mind, as race and racism is an explicit part of the plot but part of that is the fact that the three leads are all white and do not fully comprehend what the Mullers are dealing with. The main cast must all be white. Or Book of Mormon, Hairspray, Hamilton, In The Heights, are all shows that require actors of specific races in specific roles and should be cast as such. But Dear Evan Hansen? Hello Dolly? Next to Normal? Chicago, MFL, Phantom, Waitress, Wicked? So many shows are all white and shouldn't be. MANY of them have casting notices that don't even allow non-white actors to audition.
I think part of Kristolyn’s point is that in these types of shows (or most shows), the roles that are deep and meaty go to actors who are white even when race isn’t specified, and actors of color are relegated to roles like hers in DEH, and yes, they sometimes turn into token roles because of the person who originated the role/track. Very well said. Waitress is another example too. There's no reason Jenna or Dr. Pomatter couldn't be played by performers of color, but it seems like Becky has become the designated minority role in the Broadway production at least (and Dawn has been played by white and nonwhite actors).
I mean, wasn't she cast in DEH after the show got criticized in an earlier reiteration for being too white?
She was mostly reposting a thread from Carolyn Richardson.It was a fantastic post.1. Just casting POC in roles that were written by white people for and about white people isn't the end game in diversity casting.2. Kristolyn did say she has been the token person of color in several shows. I assume she means DEH as one example. However, she wasn't insinuating it was a bad experience at all.3. One of the main points that I got from of the thread is that there should be more shows produced that are written by POC. The shows don't have to specifically be about race, but that black actors are always going to have to bring their experiences/culture to the roles and those experiences should be developed into the characters.
When the OBC features a person of color in a role, any role, just imagine the outcry were the producers to replace that actor with a white actor. The anger would be loud and immediate (as it should be).
^ The Original Broadway Cast of GREAT COMET featured a white actor in the part Patinkin was up for.
Rainah said: "But Dear Evan Hansen? Hello Dolly? Next to Normal? Chicago, MFL, Phantom, Waitress, Wicked? So many shows are all white and shouldn't be. MANY of them have casting notices that don't even allow non-white actors to audition."Phantom does not belong in the above list.
Someone in a Tree2 said: "When the OBC features a person of color in a role, any role, just imagine the outcry were the producers to replace that actor with a white actor. The anger would be loud and immediate (as it should be)."Well, Erin Wilhelmi replaced Condola Rashad when she left ADHP2 at the exact same time the whole Great Comet thing was happening. Was there an outcry? No. Mainly because Condola wasn’t fired to have Erin replace her. Just a reminder that THAT was largely the issue people had with Great Comet, not just a white person replacing a black person.No one is denying Lloyd’s talent when they say she could’ve been hired for diversity. She’s a talent and was very good in the role. But when casting the understudies for this role (traditionally also understudies Zoe), they have always specifically asked for an actress of color. You can’t be seen if you are white. That’s not totally a bad thing, but it is interesting that they seem to seek people of color only for this one role. Even if they say “any ethnicity” for the other tracks, they have yet to actually mean it.
Phantom as of late has been casting non-white actors like Norm Lewis, Ali Ewoldt, Jordan Donica, etc., not to mention that the recent two Phantoms on the tour have been black. While it's true that the show was unfortunate in its inability to cast anyone who wasn't white for many years, I don't think it belongs on this list anymore since the show has been taking strides towards being more diverse.
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