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BWW Blog: Minorities in the Arts

BWW Blog: Minorities in the Arts


Hi Broadwayworld! Im Lorenza , a 20 year old in the middle of my Musical Theatre BFA. It’s crazy to think that a year  and a half ago I  changed my life completely in order to pursue this as a career. I moved from Lima, Peru  where I’ve lived my entire life and came here to  The U.S. where I knew I would get the best training! Being a Latina in this political climate  is interesting to say the least, but I’ve been incredibly blessed to know that there is a place for us in the theatre, or at least that there should be!

Aside from the usual “how are you going to live from art” worries that I'm sure we’ve all heard from friends and family,as a Latinx women, everyone warned me “Latinas only get casted as prostitutes & maids.” However, I’ve got to say, the opportunities I’ve been given this past year have proved this to be wrong! Im happy to say that Im currently working on a new Play “Las Mujeres” written by Erlina Ortiz, which centers the voices of distinguished Latinx womyn from Herstory’s past. 

Representation is so important! We hear about it more so for film (but as I’ve learned in my theatre history class) American Theatre has struggled to be diverse since the very beginning. Im lucky to have found myself working with people that want to show minorities onstage, and I urge everyone to do the same. I recently saw a production of “Sonnets From An Old Century” by  Jose Rivera at The University of the Arts and I thank playwrights like him and Erlina , as well as  companies like La Fabrica and Power Street here in Philadelphia, for giving a voice to those who’s stories need to be heard. I wish I had these examples to look while growing up, but it's comforting to know that children watching theatre today, who wants to be onstage,  can finally see someone like them up there.

Now I'm not going to lie, half of the auditions I’ve done since I’ve been living here have been for “cleaning ladies” so, yes, those who believed in type casting had a point! But I guess I'm excited to say that the time has come for not only the Latinx Theatre community, but minorities in the theatre to take center stage and be given a chance for their narratives to be front and center. I see the change happening, I see this generation of theatre artists being vocal about the need for change. So much progress is yet to be made, so much work is yet to be done, so please if you don't see yourself onstage know that your voice is valid and that you have the power  and the right for it to be heard. I don’t think I knew it before, and I thank everyone who I see creating and changing theatre for the better that have inspired me to focus on doing the same with my work. I see you! I admire you! I love! Let’s make art friends.  

“Art cannot change the world, but it can contribute to changing the consciousness and drives of the men and women who could change the world.”
Herbert Marcuse

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