I think that people in racially homogenous environments can really benefit from exposure to racial issues.
It's not so much that the author had an ax to grind as it is that she went into the situation fully expecting to be outraged, and dammit she was going to be outraged.
Rodenbaugh said they might do To Kill a Mockingbird with an all-white cast or Othello or The Wiz (three shows I mentioned to him that feature African-Americans either in prominent roles or as a majority of the cast).
I think that if you're in a situation where it's tricky to ensure that you have a diverse enough cast, then you really should avoid plays where racial issues are THE MAIN POINT of the script.
I'm not sure that anyone's saying "drag is okay but blackface isn't", in quite the way you're seeing, craichead. We only got into drag because someone asked "well who says that Edna Turnblad has to be played by a guy?"
Can someone explain to me why having a male play a female role is ok, padding a thin girl to play a fat girl is relatively ok, but having white kids play black kids is not ok, and having white people wear blackface, not to mock black people but to portray a character in a play, so incredibly not ok?
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