At best, the theatre has had questionable reputations with inclusivity and representation throughout its storied history. For one, despite its sophisticated form being well-established as early as the ancient Greeks, professional stages in England didn’t see their first actress until the early winter of 1660—with her eighth of December debut being the only “early” thing about it, coming over 2,000 years after public performance’s Mediterranean beginnings. Structural change then—despite often being invoked by the earliest thespians—was slow to materialize internally. Certainly in 2023, the theatre can look back proudly on the breadth of its progress—even still, though, perhaps not proudly enough, as many today urge. That is to say, the work of the theatre with specific regard to its welcome embrace of diverse voices has, to some, just begun.
This post was originally published on the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal website on November 7, 2023. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.
Ecker, Michael, "To See or Not to See: Color-Blind Casting and Its Role in the American Theatre Today" (2023). AELJ Blog. 369.