By Angela C. Pao
"No secure Spaces opens up a talk past slender polemics . . . even though cross-racial casting has been the subject of heated dialogue, little sustained scholarship addresses either the ancient precedents and theoretical dimensions. Pao illustrates the tensions and contradictions inherent not just in degree representations, but in addition within the functionality of race in daily life. an excellent booklet whose strength readership is going well past theater and function scholars."
---Josephine Lee, college of Minnesota
"Non-traditional casting, more and more practiced in American theater, is either deeply attached to our country's racial self-image(s) and woefully under-theorized. Pao takes at the perform in its entirety to disentangle many of the strands of this extremely important issue."
---Karen Shimakawa, big apple University
No secure Spaces seems at probably the most radical and enduring alterations brought through the Civil Rights era---multiracial and cross-racial casting practices in American theater. The stream to forged Latino/a, African American, and Asian American actors in vintage level works via and approximately white Europeans and american citizens is seen as either social and political gesture and creative innovation. Nontraditionally forged productions are proven to have participated within the nationwide discussion approximately race kin and ethnic identification and served as a resource of renewed creativity for the staging of the canonical repertory.
Multiracial casting is explored first via its historical past, then via its inventive, political, and pragmatic dimensions. subsequent, the booklet specializes in case reports from the dominant genres of latest American theater: classical tragedy and comedy, smooth family drama, antirealist drama, and the Broadway musical, utilizing a extensive array of archival resource fabrics to augment and light up its arguments.
Angela C. Pao is affiliate Professor of Comparative Literature at Indiana University.
A quantity within the sequence Theater: Theory/Text/Performance
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Additional info for No Safe Spaces Re-casting Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality in American Theater
If the strong reservations about unconventional casting in modern realistic drama are readily explained by the de‹ning characteristics of the genre, it follows that nontraditional casting of modern antirealistic plays should arouse the fewest objections. It was therefore rather surprising to ‹nd that some of the most controversial instances of nontraditional casting involved works that rejected a mimetic relationship to reality. In chapter 5, “The Theater, Not the City: Genre and Politics in Antirealistic Drama,” I consider the controversies surrounding the casting of nonwhite actors in plays by Samuel Beckett, Bertolt Brecht, and Thornton Wilder.
Paradoxes of the Body The actor is everything in the theatre. We can do without everything in a performance except him. He is the ›esh of the show, the spectator’s pleasure. He is, irrefutably, presence itself. But capturing him as a function of the signs he produces is not an easy task. . 3 —anne ubersfeld Traditionally, in the more or less realistic modes of dramatic performance that dominated the Western stage after the Renaissance, the theatrical or performant aspects of the staged production were subordinated to and ‹nally even dissolved into the ‹ctional or diegetic elements.
The full implications of the animating effect of the human presence on stage are vividly summarized by Gay McAuley in her study of theatrical space: The stage, even when set and lit ready for the performance, will keep the spectators’ attention for a very short time if no actors are present, for in the theatre it is the presence of the actors that makes the space meaningful. 8 Without the performer, there can be no theatrical semiosis. 9 Much of the pleasure and fascination of watching a performance comes from seeing how actors resolve the fundamental paradox of the dramatic actor performing in a realistic or naturalistic mode—the contradiction between the presence of the ›esh-and-blood performer and the absence of the imaginary character.