Mad about Black Ariel? Stay Mad

Mad about Black Ariel? Stay Mad

By now, I am sure that everyone has heard about the absurd “controversy” surrounding the casting of the unbelievably talented and stunningly beautiful Halle Bailey as Ariel in the up-coming live action remake of Disney’s 1989 animated The Little Mermaid. There are a lot of very foolish hills to die on, but, by far, is probably one of the most stupid.

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Slowly Kissing the Past Goodbye, One Broadway Musical at a Time

Slowly Kissing the Past Goodbye, One Broadway Musical at a Time

I am a musical theater snob. I also happen to identify as queer. This means a few things. First, I am really critical of musical theater, especially after spending two full years studying it in one of the most accredited programs in the country. Second, I am especially critical of queer representation in musical theater. That being said, I knew I needed to see The Prom, which is currently running at the Longacre Theatre.

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Don’t Stop Me Now: A Story of Theatre and Anxiety

Don’t Stop Me Now: A Story of Theatre and Anxiety

May is Mental Health Awareness month and in the community of theatre, art and performance, now is more of a time than ever where it is being talked about. 

You have show such as Dear Evan Hansen  and now Be More Chill that deal with topics such as anxiety and depression. And I, your writer is just one of many people who have anxiety. 

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Broadway Still has some Thinking to Do: A Follow-Up to “Broadway Needs To Re-Think Their Size Issue”

Broadway Still has some Thinking to Do: A Follow-Up to “Broadway Needs To Re-Think Their Size Issue”

Let’s start with the obvious. I am a curvy cutie, very much a plus size woman, and, just between you and me, I know that I’m no classic beauty as well, I’m just uniquely me.  As I went to more auditions, local as well as open calls in the city when I could, that feeling always seemed to creep up on me, that I felt like a black sheep, that I am out of place. I looked around in the holding room, and no one in that room looked like me, more like, they all looked like each other.

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The Human Experience in the Theatre

The Human Experience in the Theatre

In an age so defined by labels, the crises of the world, and when someone’s identity can be a box or a ballroom, it’s easy to get lost in how the world sees you. It’s harder to lose yourself to a character, a script, a show. In the current climate in America, identity is everything, who you are in other’s eyes predetermines how you move through this world, the barriers you have to break, and the doors that swing open when they sense your arrival.

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The Actor and Mental Health

The Actor and Mental Health

The work of the theatre requires us to be vulnerable. It requires us to bare our souls, and to open ourselves up to the collaborative experience we have with our partners. A lot of actors are empathetic people, who can feel and vibe off of the emotions of others. This can also be very draining. It causes us to be somewhat more sensitive, and if we are not treating our mental health with same effort as other things and putting it at the back burner, you’re going to find yourself at a breaking point.

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How Theatres Can Help End Misgendering in Reviews

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In the past couple of years, thankfully, we’ve started to see more and more theatre that either includes trans, nonbinary and gender non-conforming performers or features their stories. Personally, as someone who has many friends who identify as such, I love that we’re moving in this direction.

Sadly however, not everyone is so supportive. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen multiple critics not only misgender these performers but refuse to correct their reviews once their identity is pointed out. Even worse, some critics are blatantly ignoring performer or character pronouns and just deciding their gender on their own. This needs to stop.

While I certainly hope these critics become more educated on this subject, there are some things that theatres can do to help the process. The first would be listing a performer’s preferred pronouns with their bios in the press materials.

Last year, we published a review where one of our critics referred to a performer as she/her. Later, I received an email from the performer who told me their correct pronouns and we corrected it to them/they. However, looking back at the press materials given to us, there was no indication of the preferred pronouns of the performer.

Very rarely do I see preferred pronouns listed next to bios or included in press materials/programs. If they were, this would definitely clear a lot of these misgendering issues up and not leave critics up to guess or judge what someone’s gender identity might be.

However, if a critic refuses or ignores preferred pronouns(like Tuscon’s Chuck Graham), that’s an entirely different issue and that person shouldn’t be given the privilege of critiquing a productions.

We’re living in an era where it’s more important to be conscious towards someone’s gender identity, it’s something that I take very personally. And because of this, more information is needed. Theatre companies can help and protect their performers by listing perferred pronouns in bios/programs/press materials.

Dear Nominees, Please Boycott Chita Rivera Awards Until Ben Vereen is Removed as Host

Dear Nominees, Please Boycott Chita Rivera Awards Until Ben Vereen is Removed as Host

On May 19th, the Broadway community will gather to present the 2019 Chita Rivera Awards. The mission of the awards is “to promote and recognize dance and choreographic excellence on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in film.” Shows such as Ain’t Too Proud, The Prom and The Cher Show share multiple nominations along with films such as Mary Poppins Returns.

While I would love to celebrate this evening of excellence, I can’t and I won’t. Because hosting the awards is Ben Vereen.

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School District Bans 'Thoroughly Modern Millie' After Protests at High School Performance

School District Bans 'Thoroughly Modern Millie' After Protests at High School Performance

Last weekend, over 40 Chinese-American protesters gathered in front of Huntington High School opposing the school’s performance of the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie. The group stated that the musical is racist against Chinese people. In response, the Long Island school’s Superintendent has announced that the show will never be performed in the district again.

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Casting of 'Kinky Boots' in Australia Reveals Issues with Character Descriptions

Casting of 'Kinky Boots' in Australia Reveals Issues with Character Descriptions

Next month, CLOC Musical Theatre in Victoria, Australia will be performing their production of Kinky Boots. This past week they revealed come of the cast photos. Needless to say, there was some surprise over their choice for Lola/Simon.

The role of Lola/Simon being played by a white actor(Aaron Taylor-Tedford). Given the casting choice, the lyrics for “The Land of Lola” probably have to be changed…

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Trans Designer Femininity, The Double Sword of Expectations

Trans Designer Femininity, The Double Sword of Expectations

I am a Trans Theatre maker; I am a minority in almost every room I walk into. I am a Student, which is facing the odds to get my degree while out. I am a woman Lighting Designer and know it will be a tough climb. But I know, I am a Butch Trans Woman, and I will not change for anyone. I am tough and worked comedy and concerts for five years hearing every imaginable joke about my community, so the skin is as thick as my leather belts. I have been pitted against more sexist clients for events than I can count, my male assistants being spoken to more than me and jokes on crews that abound. I do not complain, but rather point out.

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Should Movement to end "Redface" Cancel Production of "Trumpet in the Land"?

Should Movement to end "Redface" Cancel Production of "Trumpet in the Land"?

There is no doubt that there has been renewed awareness in 2019 that the use of “blackface” is wrong. We’ve seen many a public figure being brought down by donning it in the past. I am happy that we’ve gotten to the point where we' generally accept it as wrong. Other instances of “brownface” and “yellowface” have also been properly called out as well.

However, one term is slower to receive the right amount of attention - redface. For decades, we’ve seen modern society gloss over usage of redface in pop culture, entertainment and professional sports. While there has been some progress, it’s been slow.

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U.K. 'The Color Purple' star: 'I do not believe homosexuality is right'

U.K. 'The Color Purple' star: 'I do not believe homosexuality is right'

An actress set to star in a revival of The Color Purple is under fire today for anti-LGBTQA+ comments she made on social media in the past.

Actress, Seyi Omooba post a lengthy statement on her Facebook page in 2014 which included, “I do not believe you can be born gay and i do not believe homosexuality is right, though the law of this land has made it legal doesn’t mean its [sic] right.”

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