Longtime readers know that I am sometimes unaware when a theater stages my work and that I am sometimes surprised when my stuff ends up in a book and that these things don't come to my attention until a Google Alert ends up in my inbox. So my latest Alert just arrived, and this is just too weird.
A community college in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in New York is performing The Theory of Everything (which features seven Asian-American characters) with a cast of mostly white college kids. Um...WHAT?! (The rights were obtained through my publisher, who I have no regular contact with.)
Now you know how I feel about Caucasian actors being cast in non-Caucasian roles, but something feels...well...okay about this. After reading a feature article in a local paper and a theater review in the same publication and after finding out that the student body at Adirondack Community College is only 1% Asian (and let's face it—they're probably working towards business degrees) and after stumbling across this production photo (above) , I kind of like the idea of a ragtag theater department with limited resources banding together to shun Shakespeare for at least one semester to put on a relatively obscure play that deals with contemporary issues of race and sexuality. And it looks like they at least had the good sense not to put anyone in yellowface—something still practiced in Hollywood, by the way, a town that really should know better. I mean, if kids in the Adirondacks can embrace diversity without committing (too many) artistic faux pas, then shouldn't we all?
What do you all make of this? Is this a sign of the times? Should I find this remarkable and inspiring? Or should I be filled with righteous indignation?