Dear Community Theatres, Stop Racially Segregating Your Seasons

Dear Community Theatres, Stop Racially Segregating Your Seasons

A couple of years ago, I got into it with a president of a local community theatre. I had started to notice that their six show season always consisted of five shows with either all-white casts or leads with one show being predominantly diverse with Black, Asian or Latinx roles. For example, their year would be Legally Blonde, Death of a Salesman, The Sound of Music, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Hairspray/In the Heights/The King and I.

Read More

What it's Like Being the "Big Girl" in Theatre

What it's Like Being the "Big Girl" in Theatre

I know everyone has had their struggles in theatre. Even if you are the most talented, stunningly fit, and beautiful person on this earth, let's face it - none of us are perfect. I want to tell you my personal struggle. I’m writing this because I want to face reality and also, I know I’m not alone.

Read More

Looking at Tokenism on Broadway

Looking at Tokenism on Broadway

Hopefully at this point, we all agree that minorities are underrepresented in media. People of color deserve to be represented. However, this very public and debated issue of minority casting has created a whole new controversy of its own: tokenism. Tokenism defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as “actions that are the ​resul​t ​of pretendin​g to give advantag​e to those group​s in society who are often treated ​​unfairly​, in order to give the ​appearance​ of fairness​.”

This implies that people of color are being written/cast with intent of creating a safe appearance of diversity. Of course, this means that more characters are being created for people of color in entertainment, but not out of respect for their abilities or talents, but simply for their superficial value to the media. 

Read More

"The Goin' is Great" is a Dance Short We Should All Watch

"The Goin' is Great" is a Dance Short We Should All Watch

I recently stumbled upon a short dance film that seemed to keep popping up on my Facebook feed. I finally watched the short and was overcome with a strange juxtaposition of anxiety and tranquility. These are two emotions that don’t often pair together, and I certainly wasn’t expecting them when I clicked on the two-and-a-half-minute dance clip. But the short showed so much more than just some beautiful choreography.

Read More

A New Character Shoe is Celebratrating Diversity with One Giant Step

A New Character Shoe is Celebratrating Diversity with One Giant Step

In early June, LaDuca Shoes launched their new “cinnamon shoe,” a darker shade of their signature, sought-after character heels—a staple of Broadway performers, Radio City Rockettes, Knicks City Dancers, and celebrities like Laverne Cox and Katy Perry.  Black and beige were the previous “standard” shades for character shoes.  Dancers of color either settled for these two stock colors or painted their shoes to better match their skin tones.  Finally, the dancewear industry is starting to change their ways. 

Read More

A Los Angeles Theatre Announced Their Cast for "Little Shop" and the Internet is not having it

A Los Angeles Theatre Announced Their Cast for "Little Shop" and the Internet is not having it

Yesterday, a Los Angeles county based theatre company announced their cast for their upcoming production of “Little Shop of Horrors.”

While the Mogran-Wixson Theatre didn’t say which actors were playing which roles, let’s just say the cast lacks what you would usually see in most productions of the show.

Read More

I Am Sick of Predators in High School Drama Clubs

I Am Sick of Predators in High School Drama Clubs

I wish I could look back at my high school theatre program and have fond memories, and reminisce about the first time I was coached in a scene, or sung for my whole school. For a few months after graduating, I could. But as I am currently writing this, I don’t feel fond towards my high school theatre program anymore. I get a feeling of dread when I remember that my theatre teacher was found to be engaging in sexual miscounduct with one of his students.

Read More

Is it ever okay for non-disabled actors to play disabled roles?

Is it ever okay for non-disabled actors to play disabled roles?

We are familiar with the repellent days of “blacking up” – the disabled actors’ equivalent is “cripping up”, a term used by acting activists to highlight that it is not acceptable for a non-disabled actor to mimic impairments, then win an Oscar.

The acting union Equity has said that in casting “disabled” roles, “every avenue” should be considered to cast a disabled actor. Yet the challenges for disabled actors and the representation of a disability experience in film are not isolated to casting. Fundamental barriers to auditioning limit spaces for disabled actors; for those who do get work, it is still mostly for disabled roles written by non-disabled writers, which may present stereotypical or unrepresentative characters.

Read More

The Fat Girl’s Diatribe Against the Theatre Community

The Fat Girl’s Diatribe Against the Theatre Community

The theatrical industry is, on the surface, seen as an inclusive environment full of openly accepting members who desire to experience the same kind of public appreciation an eighth- grade version of myself so desperately craved. As a young artist, it has only taken me less than a handle of auditions and feedback to realize that theatre was not the fat girl’s sport.

If you speak to the choreographer, they’d say that it’s visually unappealing to have an uneven amount of  “heavier” people on the stage than the other. If you speak to the costume designer, they say that it’s more difficult to create flattering costumes for the “common figure” a fat girl carries. If you look in the ensemble of a majority of running musicals, you will rarely find anyone that doesn’t fit an “average” body type to the production staff’s discretion.

Read More

Being Autistic in the Theatre Community

Being Autistic in the Theatre Community

There are many things you could say about who I am as a person. You could say that I love the art of theatre, especially playwriting and still occasionally acting. Or you could say that beyond theatre and writing, I am also a die-hard fan of The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Batman and Harry Potter who is severely addicted to caffeine. (Although I will add that if that’s the worst thing I’m addicted to, I’d say I’m in relatively good shape.) Or more recently, you could also say that I am a writer here at On Stage who writes columns and occasional reviews that are read by a fairly large audience of theatre lovers that is growing every day. Those are just a few basic and important facts about me that are especially important for anyone who cares to know what kind of person I am.

Read More

Being an Introverted Actor

Being an Introverted Actor

I am an actor. That being said, I also consider myself to be an introvert. This has caused confusion among people who only know me from endeavours outside of the theatrical world. Telling people about the show I’m in, or that I’d like to pursue a career in theatre often leads to responses like “You know, actors have to talk a lot right?” or “You’re going to have to learn to be more outgoing if you want to do that.” I never really know how to respond to this, or where to start, as these people probably have misunderstandings in two areas. One being what introversion really is and the other being what being a performer really entails. 

Read More

The Need for More Native American Theatre

The Need for More Native American Theatre

I have been trying to be better about learning about Native American culture and stories, and one of the primary ways I learn about anything is reading. I've had "Seventh Generation: An Anthology of Native American Plays" for years, and it was my slow read over the course of this past November, a month I traditionally set aside for Native American stories. And what did I learn? Native American culture is alive and vibrant in theatre. Unfortunately, it is also almost invisible.

Read More

“I Was Most Alive With You” Shines with a Shadow Cast

“I Was Most Alive With You” Shines with a Shadow Cast

My journey for Deaf Talent leads me to Playwrights Horizons in New York City. ‘“I Was Most Alive With You” is the work of writer Craig Lucas. It features a Deaf (and deaf) character, and an entire shadow cast that signs the dialogue from a balcony overlooking the action. Lucas was inspired to write this piece, and learn about Deaf culture, after watching actor Russell Harvard. He immersed himself in the language and people, and it shows in this touching and in-depth look into the Deaf World and the world of addiction. Lucas’ hard work pays off with simple references that those who live in the Deaf World will get with ease but gives those who don’t know a small lesson.

Read More