Monday, January 12, 2009

'Color-Blind' Casting, Cont'd

Thanks to James Bohnen for his response to my post on The Voysey Inheritance.  I think he states the crux of the matter quite precisely: 
If we wait and wait for the right time for Non-traditional casting (achieved by some intuitive feeling of the county's pulse on race perhaps?) it seems like a way of puting off what should be a natural expression of talent winning the job without other constraints.
The way to incorporate 'color-blind' casting as a fixture of theatrical conventions is to, well, make it conventional.  Almost certainly, what Mr. Bohnen is really arguing for is a kind of casting that has nothing at all to do with race, but is purely a matter of talent and appropriateness for a role.  This is an honorable tack and a valuable one, and I think only a very stupid person would argue for the categorical exclusion of persons of color from 'classical' European dramatic productions.  Finally, the more I think about this the more confidant I am that the rise of the conventionality of 'color-blind' casting will pose no immediate threat to deliberate and thematic/artistic/aesthetic impact of non-traditional casting.

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