Theater: Does Color Blindness Count?

RICHARD III by William Shakespeare

The hottest issue in the American theater is "nontraditional casting," the notion of giving roles to actors regardless of race, ethnicity, even gender. This does not mean simply mounting an all-black, all-Hispanic or all-Asian version of a show, but providing a rainbow jumble in which, at the extreme, parents of one race may be portrayed as having children of several others. The idea has been around for decades, but is gathering force as the U.S. becomes increasingly multiracial. Proponents argue that nontraditional casting helps bridge a gap between today's diversity and the narrow North European focus...

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