A German Theatre Did A Lot More Than Just Whitewash "West Side Story"

Untitled+collage+(1)+(1).jpg

Behold. This is West Side Story in Germany last February. I swear. 

The show was produced by the theatre, Staatstheater Kassel. Not only did they cast Caucasian actors in many of the Puerto Rican roles, but according to press materials they also flew in a dialect coach to teach them Puerto Rican accents. 

Some may praise the creativity of this, but not me. To me, this is just another example of creative licensed whitewashing. I've seen the same methods used by theatres with shows like Hairspray as if the conflict over the color of one's clothing is comparable to racism. 

In a perfect world, rights holders and authors would step in to prevent adaptations like these but....you know....money needs to be made. 

But as the world turns, theatre companies will continue to find new ways to cast Caucasian actors in roles of color. 

And of course, the show was showered with praise by critics

Here are some more pictures of the production. 

west_side_story_hpii_n.klinger_08.jpg
blogSlider_West_Side_Story_HPII___N._Klinger_03.jpg
blogEntry_West_Side_Story_HPI___N._Klinger_01.jpg

And you were worried about what Ivo van Hove is going to do.