She uses a famous August Wilson quote about “colorblind” casting as a jumping off point:
Colorblind casting is an aberrant idea that has never had any validity other than as a tool of the Cultural Imperialist who views their American Culture, rooted in the icons of European Culture, as beyond reproach in its perfection. It is inconceivable to them that life could be lived and even enriched without knowing Shakespeare or Mozart. Their gods, their manners, their being is the only true and correct representation of humankind.
Philana argues that often “colorblind'” casting often ignores an actor’s color rather than bring additional meaning to the character and story. “(It) comes to mean that the actor, cast, and audience are essentially pretending the actor is white,” she says. Philana asks her fellow playwrights to expand and explore what “colorblind” means. “What happens when someone is denied part of his or her identity? What are the consequences? What are the benefits?” Playwrights are free to incorporate these questions, but not necessarily apply them to color/racial identity.
Show is October 23rd, 11pm, in the Hahne Black Box theater. Admission is free. We recommend you get there 45 to 60 minutes ahead of time to assure yourself a seat.
For more information about Madness this fall semester, check out our Madness page.
Philana Omorotionmwan was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She uses writing to create images that explore the the intersections of race, gender, class, and sexuality. Her short plays have been produced at Ensemble Studio Theater, Manhattan Theatre Source, and Berkeley Rep. Her poems have been published in New Delta Review and African American Review. Philana earned her BA from Stanford University and is excited to be pursing an MFA here at OU. You can find out more about her work at philanaplays.weebly.com.
There is no “Madness” show this week. Instead the theater department opens AS YOU LIKE IT, which we have been lead to believe was written by William Shakespeare (see Facebook Profile Pic above.)
Not be confused, this is a different play than Joe McKenzie’s AS YOU LIME IT which is a whimsical play about a sweet yet sour romance between two pastry chefs.
AS YOU LIKE IT runs from March 26 – April 5 in the Forum Theater in the RTV Building. $10 admission. $7 for Seniors (elderly not students), and Free for Students (including seniors.) Show starts at 8pm.
Buzz 22 Chicago’s synopsis of GHOST BIKE: Ora and Eddie fell in love with Chicago on their bikes. But when Eddie is hit by a car and killed, Ora refuses to let him go. Instead, she rides beneath our city to bring him back, facing off against underworld gods and ghosts -some interested in helping her, some determined to get in her way. The more difficult her journey becomes, the more Ora must question what it is she’s journeying towards. In Ghost Bike, Chicago culture skitches off of Greek, African, and Chinese mythology, sparking a spirited mash-up of underworld and after-life as seen from the seats of fixies, BMX’s and ten-speeds.
Ghost bikes can be found in Chicago and in cities all over the country. Learn more about them at http://ghostbikes.org/chicago.
From their website: “Ghost Bikes are made from bikes and bike parts which are no longer rideable, painted all white, and installed where cyclists were killed by motorists. They are grim but necessary reminders of the hazards cyclists face on our roadways. They remember the victim and raise awareness of the need to combat reckless and aggressive driving and fix our streets to be safer for all users.”
Neal Adelman, second year MFA playwright, has been named a National Finalist of the John Cauble Award for Outstanding Short Play for this year’s Kennedy Center American Theater College Festival. His play TARRANT COUNTY is one of three plays nominated.
The festival is April 14th through April 19th at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center’s founding chairman, the Kennedy Center American College Theater (KCACTF) is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide which has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theater in the United States. The KCACTF has grown into a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country, where theater departments and student artists showcase their work and receive outside assessment by KCACTF respondents.
OU Alum Eric Coble‘s new Broadway play THE VELOCITY OF AUTUMN is being produced by 92Y. Academy Award winner, Estelle Parsons, and Tony Award winner, Stephen Spinella, co-star in the Broadway Debut, which opens in the Booth Theater on April 1st.
92Y is holding a pre-opening discussion with Coble, Parsons, and Spinella on Wednesday, March 19th, at 8:15pm.
Third-year MFA playwright, Bianca Sams, is giving a lecture at Ohio State University Thursday, January 30th at 4pm. It’s titled “Creative Playwriting: Using ‘Found Stories’ as Inspiration.” It’s at the Thurber Theatre at the Drake Performance and Event Center.
OU MFA Alum, Mark Chrisler, had a play run at this year’s Rhinofest in Chicago. The Chicago Reader’s, Zac Thompson, highlighted Chrisler’s play “Phones, Frauds, and Fakes.”
In Chrisler’s Phonies, Frauds, and Fakes, the writer-performer reads from a script while seated at a table, Spaulding Gray style. What starts as a witty lecture on history’s biggest lies soon morphs into the fascinating story of Chrisler’s four-year involvement with a girlfriend who turned out to be a pathological liar. As he relates how he fell for one whopper after another, Chrisler is insightful on self-deception and the way great liars exploit our willingness to believe what we want to believe, even when the truth is staring us in the face.