RE: Race & Theatre: Our "White Lists"
I've just finished reading this article by Chris Peterson. He talks about meeting an Asian actress and asking her what her dream roles would be. Her answer was simply:
"Do you mean my real list? Or my White List?"
It's a sad truth about being a person of colour and wanting to make it big in theatre. Ever since I got involved with theatre I've had the exact same lists in my mind. One of my reasons to not pursue acting is actually because of how slim my chances at success would be. But a girl can dream and I continue to do so. For my lists, I've included everything from existing musicals, productions, and tv shows to characters I'd love to be if a live action film/show or production was to be made. Enjoy my real and "White" list!
My White List
- Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire
- Glinda in Wicked
- Sophie Sheridan in Mamma Mia
- Eponine in Les Miserables
- Elle Woods in Legally Blonde
- Abigail in The Crucible
- Adelaide in Guys and Dolls
- Roxie Hart in Chicago
My Real List
- Princess Jasmine in Aladdin (at a stretch because I'm not arabic)
- Tiana in Disney's The Princess and the Frog (again at a stretch because I'm not black)
My lists are quite short for two reasons:
- That's all I could think of right off the top of my head and
- I can think of a couple of instances where I could potentially have the chance of playing some of the characters on my "white list"
So I know that things are moving in the direction I want them to go. Recently the conversation regarding race and whitewashing in Hollywood and the theatre have been a hot topic. A lot of articles have been floating around exposing Hollywood's extreme whitewashing cases as well as open letters to Disney expressing disdain for their portrayal of Mulan. I'm happy to see that actors of colour are finally speaking up and demanding to be heard. It's about time that we get our chance to aim for whatever roles we want regardless of skin tone.
p.s. enjoy these pics of me as a leather-clad Juliet !