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Diversity In Plays

Decent Essays
I think that if a play writer has an opportunity to include more diversity into their visual story they should take that opportunity while being mindful of possibly offending someone. The art of clearly representing every nationality normalizes the hero into being you or me or anyone regardless of nationality, culture or gender. By representing a character as vital as the protagonist as any other nationality besides the tall, handsome, white male that one would expect from Western culture, I think the play writer risks being outside the expected status-quo that audiences come to expect in most visual stories. The problem that arises with representation is the many considerations when planning on portraying another culture; such as the actors,…show more content…
The actors selected also must be able to accurately portray the group of people or customs in an authentic way. There shouldn’t be vague stereo-types that are thrown in half hazard to the production and there shouldn’t be incorrect representation of a culture. If the writer chooses to gain insight from a different interpretation of a culture or an experience unlike their own, I think that it should be clarified to the audience.

For example, today many people find blackface to be offensive for good reason. This is the form of makeup used in the early American minstrel shows where white people represented African American culture in a very offensive way. That is they used broad exaggerations, stereotypes, and racist jokes while simultaneously using the denigrating blackface. This sort of representation of a culture should not be explored by play writers not even for the sake of authenticity. Considering that it belittles and unfairly represents a culture, which isn’t beneficial for audience viewers or for the theatre
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Japanese culture with traditional Noh theatre, Shakespearean plays with Elizabethan theatre, grasping the different components of mythology in Greek tragedy, and seeing the swordfights and lively atmosphere of the Chinese Kabuki theatre. Any one of these cultures or eras could be brought to the stage in a magnificent way with the simple act of a gifted play writer. Globalization through theatre helps us be less ethnocentric and more appreciative of traditions and customs around the world. The selection process of actors is key to how the lines and overall presence of the culture is felt by the audience as well as the empathy the writer used in trying to understand the life of a character in a culture vastly different than their own. Overall, play writers should try to expand the cultures and demographic of people they choose to write about for the sake of not only spreading globalization but also expanding their own writing
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