Since I first wrote about color-conscious casting, I’ve learned—by directing my own productions as well as casting plays that I did not direct—that color-conscious casting doesn’t guarantee a color-conscious production. Diverse casting is a cause; a more challenging and/or inclusive conversation is not inherently an effect.
Boston Magazine continues the coverage of Boston’s arts space issues, with a particularly pointed look at Mayor Walsh’s participation in finding solutions:
Compare Walsh’s response with what happened in 2003, when the city faced another crisis in the Theater District. Back then, the Wang Center for the Performing Arts—now the Citi Performing Arts Center, the same one Citi is pulling out of—summarily booted the Boston Ballet’s beloved production of The Nutcracker to make room for a carpetbagging production of New York’s Rockettes in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. The next morning, Mayor Thomas Menino was on the phone trying to secure the Hynes Convention Center as a new home for the ballet. (Thankfully, that never happened—right sentiment, absolutely wrong venue.) Menino worked behind the scenes for months to seal a deal for the ballet, which leased the newly restored Boston Opera House at affordable rates and eventually took its toe shoes and tutus there for its entire season.