Scrooge of Color – 2 of 40 – book research

Project background is in this post.

Email returned
I heard back from the first theater that I researched. The email noted that they don’t produce plays and have no actors. I had not looked closely enough at the website. Sigh.

I can’t let this be a time suck. I’ve already spent over an hour on it. I’ll set my alarm for 15 minutes per day.
Does this simply come down to being about color-blind casting? Is there nothing more to say about it than that? For instance, Ford’s Theatre’s website shows color-blind (inclusive?) casts for Guys & Dolls, Death of a Salesman, and other productions.

Here is a relevant article. Excerpts:

WCP: How often are you accessing your own life when you’re on the stage or you’re building a role?

CW: I’ve done a lot of Shakespeare and of course, you know, most of Shakespeare’s characters are European. And so when I play a European character I think to myself, “OK, what of me, what of Craig, and who Craig is, can I bring to this character, this traditionally white character?” So in that regard, yes, I pull from me all the time. Also, you know, imagination is another thing that’s so great. Like, there are parts of Troy that are reprehensible to people that I enjoy playing because it’s like, how often do you get a chance to go there or say those things or take that risk.

WCP: And it’s not just in Shakespeare that you’ve played what people think of as traditionally white characters, like Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman. Is it the same process there?

CW: Same process. Willy Loman had to be Willy Loman from me, not Brian Dennehy’s Willy Loman or Dustin Hoffman’s Willy Loman, the traditional Willy Loman. It’s the same words, but it has to motivate from who I am and through my lens. Like Torvald in A Doll’s House, Part 2. I heard many people say “there weren’t black people in Sweden,” and I thought “Well, OK, but the play and the character are universal. There’s nothing specifically in the play that says he has to be European.” So now that we’ve taken care of that. Let me figure out who this guy is. And then let me present that guy, as part of the story. And of course that guy comes from me.

WCP: And are there parts of you in Scrooge also?

CW: Laughs. Yeah. Absolutely. In order for me to embrace the character I have to find things in the character that I relate to. And so, you know, Scrooge, at least my Scrooge, is very practical. Scrooge compartmentalizes because of hurts that he’s had in his life. And who can’t relate to that. There is a safety blanket in shedding parts of yourself off so that you’re not exposed to hurt. And I’ve experienced that. Who hasn’t? So then when he does it, I relate. I’m like, “Yeah, I know why he’s doing that.” Because he doesn’t want to feel. I don’t think that drives me in life, but I can certainly relate.


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