And The Whitewashing Kept Rolling In : Controversy Over 'Evita' Casting at MA Theatre
Luis Eduardo Mora
On September 5th, 2017 North Shore Music Theatre(An Equity Theatre that holds auditions in NYC) announced the cast for its upcoming production of Evita. To no one’s surprise, the cast features all non-Latinx white leads that include Nick Adams as Magaldi, Briana Carlson-Goodman as Eva, John Cudia as Peron, and Tony Award Nominee Constantine Maroulis as Che. This casting announcement follows a tradition of whitewashing a musical that features real life Latinx political figures. The production is directed by Nick Kenkel who manages to find an authentic Latinx cast (of volunteers) for Broadway Bares’ annual Latino number.
(It has also been reported that Latinx performers were turned away from being able to schedule an appointment to audition)
Originally this writing was meant to be yet another think piece about the implications of whitewashing our figures but then there was a twist of events.
In an attempt to begin a dialogue with North Shore, myself and other colleagues of color decided to voice our concerns on their Facebook page. Under their announcement of Evita, I and my colleagues wrote comments such as: “This is #Whitewashing” and “No Latinos in the cast?” As we waited to hear a response from the theatre we noticed that their facebook administrator did something that is all too familiar to Latinx voices: They deleted all of our comments. I wish I could say that this is new but sadly it is part of an American tradition to silence our voices.
I will never forget the first time I realized this was going to be an issue in my life. I was in the fifth grade and I was a new immigrant to this country. As someone who had not lived here previously, I knew very little about American history. The teacher was covering the civil rights movement when I realized that all we talked about was a black vs. white narrative. I was starting to learn English but sometimes I missed some information during lectures. I thought I missed something, I raised my hand to ask the question: “Where are the Latinos?”
There was no response. The subject was changed. My voice was ignored.
Almost two decades later I choose to make my question so loud that it is no longer able to be swept under the rug. I make a choice to stand up for the voices of so many Latinx people whose perspectives have been set aside for the advantage of white supremacy:
WHERE ARE THE LATINOS?!
(Editor's Note: It should be mentioned that OnStage Blog does delete Facebook comments that violate our commenting policy, which is clearly stated on our page)