The stage has always been a reflection of society. The revered playwrights of the past rocketed to theatrical celebrity status because their plays resonated with audiences. William Shakespeare, Anton Chekhov, and Tennessee Williams alike spoke to something inside playgoers' souls, and they did so by writing plays which mirrored the societies and beliefs surrounding them. However, as the world changes, former belief systems are challenged, and our collective worldview shifts, how do these classical works stand up to the passage of time? In this hybrid lecture series, we will explore and discuss the recent shifts in North American theatre through the analysis of classical productions which have been altered to reflect a contemporary perspective.
Session 2 February 17, 2022
The Glass Menagerie: Identity-Conscious Casting in the Theatre
In 2015, Hamilton : An American Musical premiered on Broadway to wide critical acclaim. As the musical phenomenon swept the globe, the choice to cast people of color in the roles of historically white figures became a topic of widespread discussion outside of the theatrical world.
This lecture will unpack the gradual development of identity-conscious casting from the 1980’s to present day - and with the help of one Tennessee Williams’ most beloved works, The Glass Menagerie, we will explore what this development means to the classic canon.
About the Instructor
Born and raised in Vancouver, Taylor Scott moved to Paris after receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia. She has written, performed, and directed numerous Anglophone productions in Paris, and is a co-founder of Cygnet Theatre Paris - Paris’ New English Shakespeare Company. Her plays have been presented at Fourplay & Lemonade festivals, and most recently she directed a sold-out production of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet for Cygnet Theatre’s 2021 summer season.
photo credit: Uark Theater public domain
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