The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1318 Tuesday, 14 May 2002
Date: Monday, 13 May 2002 13:40:32 -0700
Subject: 13.1305 Ado
Comment: RE: SHK 13.1305 Ado
Regarding Herb Weil's questions on Much Ado. I recall a production at
Ashland in 1999 in which black actresses played both Margaret (Deidrie
Henry) and Hero (Melany Bell). I said in my review that I thought this
pairing was disingenuous because the director could not trust his
audience. Ashland likes to tout its use of color-blind casting, but I
thought that using black actors for both Hero and Margaret signaled that
thereby the "deception" involving Borachio and Margaret might have been
more "credible" to spectators because both Hero and Margaret were black.
All other actors on stage were white.
Other reviewers apparently did not "see" this scene that we do not see
as I did. But I thought this casting was a bit sleazy, almost as if Bell
and Henry were cast as they were only because they are black. If Herb or
anyone else wishes to see my review, it can be found in The Upstart Crow
(XIX) 1999, pp. 174-81, esp. pp. 177-78.
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