The Educational Value of Non-Traditional Casting in the World of Cancel Culture

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Theatre people are often known as the most supportive, accepting, and welcoming group in most schools. In the current cancel culture, theatre educators are caught in a debate concerning non-traditional casting choices and what is acceptable for school theatre programs. Those involved in theatre education, specifically, are struggling to reinvigorate or restart theatre programs that were shut down in the spring of 2020 and have not been back in full force since. They want to produce theatre that will attract both actors and audiences alike to their programs. The choices of scripts are limited because many popular shows have material that is considered questionable for school age actors by administrators, parents, and audience members. To produce shows, theatre educators also need to overcome the demographic limitations of the existing talent among students in their schools. Theatre educators can achieve these goals through non-traditional casting choices. Such choices are made based on talent rather than considerations of gender, age, race, or body type. Effective non-traditional casting requires careful consideration of certain ideologies regarding intent and ethics as well as legal issues and research regarding contract laws. This project aims to open conversation about appropriate and necessary ways non-traditional casting could be used among those involved in educational theatre using a workshop model.
Copyright © 2022 Amy Crane
Theater, Casting, Non-traditional casting, Theatre, School theatre programs, Demographics, Script choices, Post-COVID, Reinvigorate theatre programs, Limited, School age appropriate, Workshop model
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