Blacking up??!! Memo to the RSC – ‘east Asians can be more than just dogs and maids’

Bruce Norris stops Berlin staging of Clybourne Park after blacking up row Playwright reveals in a letter he withdrew performance rights for race satire due to theatre’s intention to ‘experiment with makeup’ See this article

“Normally I don’t meddle in the cultural politics of other countries,” Norris wrote, “but when my work and the work of my colleagues – other playwrights – is misrepresented, I do.”

Theatre should turn its back on blackface

The idea of white actors making themselves up as black is shocking to most of us – and yet a theatre in Germany has seen fit to continue the tradition. Why?

Other race issues in the theatre news right now… Royal Shakespeare Company under fire for not casting enough Asian actors. RSC criticised for producing The Orphan of Zhao, regarded as Chinese equivalent of Hamlet, with predominantly white cast http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2012/oct/19/royal-shakespeare-company-asian-actors

Memo to the RSC: east Asians can be more than just dogs and maids
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s casting for The Orphan of Zhao seems to hark back to an age of British imperialism

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/22/royal-shakespeare-company-east-asians?

and a few years ago…..National Theatre faces race row as black actors ‘white up’ for new production http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1161714/National-Theatre-faces-race-row-black-actors-white-new-production.html#ixzz29rKVEMI7

“Colour-blind casting seems to work only one way,” complains a white actor http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mandrake/5132689/Black-actors-white-up-at-the-National-Theatre.html

Dilemma that faced transfer of Miss Saigon to the States – Jonathan Pryce BARRED!! http://www.nytimes.com/1990/08/10/theater/jonathan-pryce-miss-saigon-and-equity-s-decision.html?pagewanted=all&src=pmmiss+saigon+playbill
And in Opera…..

David Lister: If it’s wrong to black up for Othello in a play, it’s just as bad in an opera

In the year 2000 a council bans the practice in a UK town…
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About La (Paula) Mor

La (Paula) Mór is a theatre teacher and director. She has taught and directed in the UK and internationally for 20+ years, both at Secondary and University level. La is currently working on Jeju Island in South Korea at Branksome Hall Asia where she develops original, contemporary theatre with her students and continues research into the applications of the Viewpoints in Theatre Education. La has been trained in Anne Bogart's 9 Viewpoints by SITI Theatre Company and Zen Zen Zo and delivers international Viewpoints training to young people, undergraduates, performers and lecturers. Academic background: BA(Hons) Bristol University; PGCE Leeds University; MA Applied Theatre, Central School of Speech and Drama.

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