Robert Burstein Debate: Colorblind Casting

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So what exactly is colorblind casting? In the past many people believed the term “colorblind casting” means casting their characters without their race and ethnicity. Throughout the decades, American theatre has experienced problems regarding the relation between race and gender, and their effect on casting, and the discussion particularly focuses on actors’ skin colors. Nowadays colorblind casting does not truly exist, it is known more as “color-conscious” casting. Through the ‘1997 August Wilson and Robert Burstein Debate’ about colorblind casting in New York Town Hall, I truly found what side I take and why I believe I am right. Through this specific debate we can truly see how casting is vital to the play’s representation, especially as…show more content…
Once you learn more about August you can understand why he thinks the way he does. Once you know how connected and personal he takes his work you can see why he doesn’t agree with colorblind casting and why I agree with him. Having a different ethnicity on stage can take away from the plays integrity and lesson. Imagine if Mulan or Pocahontas were played by different ethnicities or even if Martin Luther King was played by a white man in The Mountaintop by Katori Hill. It just simply would not work, because Martin Luther King is known for being a strong African American. I think sticking to the race enhances the play’s realness. However I do believe that there should be more opportunities with plays that have different races in them.
Thanks to August Wilson’s work, I came to the conclusion on what I truly believe about colorblind casting and what side I take. August was a complex man. He was unafraid of taking the unpopular stance or the unpopular route. He writes about black culture that is not often written. It is okay to embrace your culture, to see you skin color as a positive. And to see your acting role as not grey but as whom you are. Wilson helped me understand a lot more about colorblind casting and which side I take on the
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