By Angela C. Pao
"No secure Spaces opens up a talk past slim polemics . . . even if cross-racial casting has been the subject of heated dialogue, little sustained scholarship addresses either the historic precedents and theoretical dimensions. Pao illustrates the tensions and contradictions inherent not just in level representations, but additionally within the functionality of race in daily life. a superb booklet whose capability readership is going way past theater and function scholars."
---Josephine Lee, collage of Minnesota
"Non-traditional casting, more and more practiced in American theater, is either deeply hooked up to our country's racial self-image(s) and woefully under-theorized. Pao takes at the perform in its entirety to disentangle many of the strands of this extremely important issue."
---Karen Shimakawa, manhattan University
No secure Spaces appears at probably the most radical and enduring alterations brought through the Civil Rights era---multiracial and cross-racial casting practices in American theater. The movement to solid Latino/a, African American, and Asian American actors in vintage level works via and approximately white Europeans and american citizens is seen as either social and political gesture and inventive innovation. Nontraditionally solid productions are proven to have participated within the nationwide discussion approximately race kin and ethnic identification and served as a resource of renewed creativity for the staging of the canonical repertory.
Multiracial casting is explored first via its heritage, then via its inventive, political, and pragmatic dimensions. subsequent, the ebook specializes in case reports from the dominant genres of up to date American theater: classical tragedy and comedy, glossy household drama, antirealist drama, and the Broadway musical, utilizing a large array of archival resource fabrics to reinforce and light up its arguments.
Angela C. Pao is affiliate Professor of Comparative Literature at Indiana University.
A quantity within the sequence Theater: Theory/Text/Performance
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Extra info for No Safe Spaces Re-casting Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality in American Theater
Such productions afford audiences the exciting opportunity to get involved in renegotiating familiar generic boundaries. These renegotiations are not anomalies in the interpretive process, but as E. D. Hirsch points out, an integral and normal part of the process of reception: [W]hile it is not accurate to say that an interpretation is helplessly dependent on the generic conception with which an interpreter happens to start, it is nonetheless true that his interpretation is dependent on the last, unrevised generic conception with which he starts.
Akalaitis for casting a black actor as Cloten, doesn’t credibility (and coherence for a hard-pressed audience) demand that his mother also be black? . We are also supposed to believe . . that Imogen would mistake Cloten’s decapitated torso for her husband’s, yet the scene and Imogen are rendered ridiculous here by the con›icting races of the confused corpses. 31 Typifying the paradoxical nature of protests against multiracial casting, these responses suggest that spectators may be unsettled because they feel that what they are witnessing is either too real or else it is not real enough.
Nontraditional casting added new codes to the elaborate repertoire of signs produced by the actor’s body. ”6 As long as acting companies and casts were composed exclusively of white or Caucasian actors and played to predominantly or entirely white audiences, natural skin color and facial features (as opposed to facial expressions or features altered by makeup or dye) that marked an actor as belonging to a particular race remained among these unsemanticized elements. This situation mirrored the social privilege of white neutrality or invisibility.