Because it’s 2016: thanks very much

Natalie Wood, Latino representation

Natalie Wood’s performance as Maria in West Side Story provides a strong argument against “brown-face”.

On Monday night, I attended “BECAUSE IT’S 2016: An Open Invitation from the Latino Theatre Community to Discuss Representation”.

The forum arose out of a controversy about the casting of Haberdashery Theatre’s upcoming production of The Motherfucker with the Hat. There are three Latino characters in that play, but, originally, the group of artists who initiated the production didn’t cast any Latinos. Now, there’s one Latino, Francisco Trujillo, in the show.

I really, really appreciated how respectful and nuanced the discussion was—and how vulnerable a number of individuals allowed themselves to be. It took guts for Pedro Chamale and Carmen Aguirre to call the event. And I admire John Cassini from Haberdashery Theatre for showing up, taking responsibility, and sharing his side of the story. Jay Dodge, who was asked to moderate at the last minute, negotiated the evening with welcome intelligence and calm.  [Read more…]