Casting Latino actors: ethnicity, representation, employment, and authenticity

Kyra Zagorsky, The Motherfucker with the Hat, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Latino

Kyra Zagorsky felt like the real deal in The Motherfucker with the Hat

Remember the discussion about ethnicity and casting that came out of Haberdashery Theatre’s production of The Motherfucker with the Hat? That show was up almost three months ago, but I’m still chewing on the fallout.

Three of the five characters in the play, including the two leads, hetero lovers named Jackie and Veronica, are Puerto Rican New Yorkers. Haberdashery received a lot of criticism for casting non-Latino actors Stephen Lobo and Kyra Zagorsky in those parts. Although a non-Latino guy was originally going to play Jackie’s eccentrically gay Cousin Julio, by opening night, Francisco Trujillo, who is from Chile, was in the part.

For the sake of this discussion, it’s important to make a distinction between race and ethnicity. Being Latino is an ethnicity that embraces all sorts of races and racial mixes

FOLKS, I CRASHED MY WEBSITE IN AUGUST, 2017. MOST OF THE MATERIAL WAS RECOVERABLE BUT SOME, INCLUDING THE END OF THIS ARTICLE, WASN’T. MY APOLOGIES.

About Colin Thomas

Colin Thomas is a Vancouver-based editor, an award-winning playwright, and an established theatre critic. Colin helps writers unlock the full potential of their novels, short stories, screenplays, and children's books.

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