As Black History Month comes to an end, a new edition of a book about the white supremacy of Broadway musicals (with the too obviously ironic title of The Great White Way) has been published at the same time as news that Canadian indigenous theater artist Yolanda Bonnell invited only critics who are “Indigenous, Black or people of colour (abbreviated as IBPOC)” to review her play “bug.” Why I’m Asking White Critics Not to Review My Show (“as part of our efforts to decolonize art and foster culturally informed criticism..”)
An intriguing reaction from The Guardian’s critic chief theater critic Arifa Akbar: Sometimes white reviewers seem reluctant to engage with the quality of a play by an artist of color. Citing a specific example, she elaborated:“It felt as though white critics were embarrassed – perhaps to reveal their ignorance, or that they would be called racially insensitive. But it meant a lot of them ducked out of actually doing the job properly.”
Woke Supremacy by Danny Repsher
“Why is the American theatre having such a hard time with race equality? White artistic leaders will be the first to tell you that moving the needle on diversity, equity, and inclusion is both the institution’s and their very own highest priority. “We’re doing everything we can.” But despite the best of intentions, our theatre communities are not moving fast enough. There is a collective cognitive dissonance precisely at the intersection of “white” and “woke,” and it connects to the interlacing histories of racism and capitalism in America. Today, we’re experiencing a brand new permutation of American racism, called ‘woke supremacy.'”
White Fragility: Why It’s so Hard To Talk to White People About Racism “It became clear over time that white people have extremely low thresholds for enduring any discomfort associated with challenges to our racial worldviews.”
The Week in New York Theater News
The Inheritance is closing March 15, just four months after its November 17th opening.
Congratulations to the 2020 winners of The American Theater Wing’s $10,000 Jonathan Larson Grants:
The Bengsons (Hundred Days, etc), Anna K. Jacobs, (Pop, etc) Rona Siddiqui
(The Tin, etc) and Benjamin Velez (Kiss My Aztec, etc)
“Bees and Honey,” a new play by Guadalís Del Carmen inspired by
Juan Luis Guerra’s song “Como Abeja Al Panal,” will star Sean Carvajal
and Maribel Martinez as a Dominican couple in NYC. A Labyrinth theater production at Cherry Lane, March 27-April 25
A $35 digital lottery forThe Minutes begins tomorrow with its first performance at the Cort Theater. The new play by Tracy Letts opens March 15.
Theater and climate change
a special section of American Theatre Magazine
Rest in Peace
Zoe Caldwell, 86, 12-time Broadway veteran, four-time Tony winner (pictured in Master Class). She acted on screens, but her life was theater, because “The business of acting is sharing…”
Broadway theaters will dim their lights in memory of Caldwell on Friday, February 28th
Ja’net DuBois (age unknown), best known in her role as mother of Janet Jackson’s character in TV series Good Times. & composer of the Jefferson’s theme song “Movin’ on Up.” As Jeanette DuBois, she also performed on Broadway, including in the 1964 musical Golden Boy.
Thirteen of Broadway’s 41 Broadway theaters will dim their lights on Feb 29 to honor Tony- winning producer Margo Lion, who died on January 24, 2020 at age 75.