The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2052  Wednesday, 8 November 2000.

From:           Nicolas Pullin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 08 Nov 2000 10:08:50 -0600
Subject: Re: Relevant Shakespeare
Comment:        SHK 11.2029 Re: Relevant Shakespeare

Speaking from a purely practical perspective, I think there is another,
perfectly justified reason for the current trend towards
mixed/colorblind casting in R&J and other classical texts--theatrical
economics and building an audience base.  Particularly in the younger
roles, companies are making an effort to appeal to a younger demographic
in the hopes of building an audience base to replace that first (and
still vital) group of subscribers who are now getting old and taking
private funding with them.  With the addition of special school matinees
or of schools' touring groups, many of our Shakespearean companies are
trying to breakdown the ever-growing elitist economy of middle-class
theatre.  And one of the easier (and perhaps slightly simplistic)
techniques employed in order to break down modern youths distance from
dramatic literature is to employ actors of the same ethnicity and youth
cultures that make up the audience.  This motivation is, I believe,
legitimate for the future of theatre, even though it may not be well
thought through in terms of the themes of the plays or the cultural
images actually being promulgated.

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