Comments on: Why A White Christmas (Eve) Is Nothing To Celebrate On “Avenue Q” http://www.artsintegrity.org/why-a-white-christmas-eve-is-nothing-to-celebrate-on-avenue-q/ in partnership with the New School Sat, 19 Aug 2017 10:59:45 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.7 By: Link Roundup! - 3/11/16 - Company One Theatre http://www.artsintegrity.org/why-a-white-christmas-eve-is-nothing-to-celebrate-on-avenue-q/#comment-15 Fri, 11 Mar 2016 21:31:24 +0000 http://www.artsintegrity.org/?p=209#comment-15 […] Howard Sherman breaks down another casting controversy, this time surrounding the Warsaw Federal Incline Theater production of Avenue Q: […]

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By: Guesticula http://www.artsintegrity.org/why-a-white-christmas-eve-is-nothing-to-celebrate-on-avenue-q/#comment-14 Thu, 10 Mar 2016 00:44:00 +0000 http://www.artsintegrity.org/?p=209#comment-14 The problem when shows specify race is that it limits people of color’s ability to nab the other roles. Imagine being the sole Asian American auditioning for “Avenue Q” and being told that the only role open to me is “Christmas Eve”. I want to play Kate Monster.

I have no problem with a white actress playing the role of Christmas Eve, if I got to play the traditionally white role.

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By: Sister Simplice http://www.artsintegrity.org/why-a-white-christmas-eve-is-nothing-to-celebrate-on-avenue-q/#comment-13 Wed, 09 Mar 2016 19:46:00 +0000 http://www.artsintegrity.org/?p=209#comment-13 Nice try!

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By: LoganCMD http://www.artsintegrity.org/why-a-white-christmas-eve-is-nothing-to-celebrate-on-avenue-q/#comment-12 Wed, 09 Mar 2016 19:05:00 +0000 http://www.artsintegrity.org/?p=209#comment-12 So Christmas Eve in Avenue Q was clearly written as a Japanese character. The characters in Hamilton, whilst based on actual people who were white (kind of… please look into Hamilton’s background), the characters as depicted on stage are very clearly written to not be white. Neither are documentaries, but that doesn’t mean that the characters weren’t written and intended a certain way.

To not even mention that the reason issues such as these are even issues is because historically people of non-white races have been barred from being able to interpret the stories of characters with their racial background, leaving far too many characters with non-white racial backgrounds leaning heavily on white-filtered stereotypes.

White people haven’t ever had that problem–so your point is flawed to say the least.

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By: T http://www.artsintegrity.org/why-a-white-christmas-eve-is-nothing-to-celebrate-on-avenue-q/#comment-11 Wed, 09 Mar 2016 18:45:00 +0000 http://www.artsintegrity.org/?p=209#comment-11 The very writer of this article has also addressed comparisons with Hamilton’s casting in a previous post:
http://www.artsintegrity.org/what-does-hamilton-tell-us-about-race-in-casting/
Beyond authorial intent, which is the crux of the argument in the above link, I think it’s important to use the following as a litmus test when deciding what is appropriate casting: Is my casting choice supporting what the show is trying to say? Or is it undermining it?
I don’t believe you can be honest with yourself and say that casting a white Christmas Eve is supporting the show’s message.
Whereas casting a diverse cast in a historical setting in Hamilton absolutely does support the show’s messaging.

Ultimately, when you cast in a way that undermines the message of a show — intentionally or not — you are telling the world that convenience in casting is more important to you than the story you are telling.

In our business, everything we do–everything–is storytelling. Every choice we make tells a story. We can all do better and be more intentional with the stories we tell. We owe it to our audience and to our communities.

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By: Sarah Weissman http://www.artsintegrity.org/why-a-white-christmas-eve-is-nothing-to-celebrate-on-avenue-q/#comment-10 Wed, 09 Mar 2016 18:39:00 +0000 http://www.artsintegrity.org/?p=209#comment-10 Nobody’s saying it is, but it goes back to the writer’s intention and how context matters. He wrote about America then AND America now. I’ve seen a white Christmas Eve, very talented, but the jokes simply don’t land as well because when it’s an Asian woman, you understand she’s in on the joke and has control of it. Not that she’s being parodied.

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By: Jen http://www.artsintegrity.org/why-a-white-christmas-eve-is-nothing-to-celebrate-on-avenue-q/#comment-8 Wed, 09 Mar 2016 17:55:00 +0000 http://www.artsintegrity.org/?p=209#comment-8 I don’t think Avenue Q is a documentary either.

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By: Michael http://www.artsintegrity.org/why-a-white-christmas-eve-is-nothing-to-celebrate-on-avenue-q/#comment-7 Wed, 09 Mar 2016 17:50:00 +0000 http://www.artsintegrity.org/?p=209#comment-7 The difference there is that the author of Hamilton wrote the characters to be played by people who are not white. Hamilton is not a documentary, It’s a writer’s creative interpretation of the people who led the revolution.

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By: Jen http://www.artsintegrity.org/why-a-white-christmas-eve-is-nothing-to-celebrate-on-avenue-q/#comment-6 Wed, 09 Mar 2016 16:52:00 +0000 http://www.artsintegrity.org/?p=209#comment-6 How much do you want to bet the same people have no problem with black actors playing white historical figures in “Hamilton?”

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