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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: July ::
Re: Colour-Blind Casting
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1432  Friday, 11 July 2003

From:           John Zuill <
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Date:           Thursday, 10 Jul 2003 12:18:51 -0300
Subject: 14.1428 Re: Colour-Blind Casting etc. [was Othello and
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1428 Re: Colour-Blind Casting etc. [was Othello and
Bloom]

I live in Bermuda where the racial mix, black white, is nearer equal
than most places. So when we wanted to produce R&J we thought racially
divided families would not be original but more relevant than any other
place where this has been tried. We didn't get the cast we wanted for
that project so we went colour -blind. Now white Juliette has an indian
mother and a black father. Here, I am guessing this will not matter.
Our black Mercutio and our indian Lady Capulet are professionals in
Canada and California. Both complain that they have a racial bias
against them/ not because the society is a generally racist one but
because of the perceived significance of their skin colour.  I have
heard other actors complain about London in the same way. The best place
for actors to lose their colour-significance is New York from what I
have heard and indeed seen.

Certainly the question of height, colour of hair, weight and on and on
can be brought. As a side note, the whole issue of type never gets
really addressed. But I will venture the opinion that just as people can
get into a lather about affirmative action in college admission and
ignore other aspects like sport ability or family alumni, so the
arguement of skin colour in theater and movies has gotten very very
precious. Most plays do not have some remark on race to be overtly made
and so the point of not casting people who are a different shade is
ridiculous.

John Zuill

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