The Playgoer: Stratford diversifies

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Stratford diversifies

Stratford, Ontario, that is. The "jewel in the crown" of the Canadian theatre since 1952, has announced its first production of a play by a black writer, of any nationality: Djanet Sears' Harlem Duet, a riff on Othello.

I'm sure, as a "classics" theatre, they have all kinds of excuses for such a milestone to come so late there. Still, a tad embarassing. I wonder if the same question has been asked stateside, of similar "rep's" like Oregon Shakes?

Or should expectations of diversity depend on the mission statement? Is it unfair to expect a classical rep to produce plays by nonwhite writers? (as opposed to hire other nonwhite artists--actors, directors, etc.)

Me? I'm just enjoying imagining what a great, awkward "Slings & Arrows" episode this would make.

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