RACISTS DON'T DO THEATRE by Thomas Putnam
Racists don't do theatre. It's simply too much for them. Is this a politically incorrect thing to say? Actually I don't care much if it is politically incorrect, but I am concerned if it is morally wrong. It's just that I am ready to have auditions for our Spring production of Molly Metzler's THE MAY QUEEN and for once it would be a dream to have a fully racially-mixed cast. This is Black History Month, and we are celebrating MLK's vision/mission this Sunday (after being re-scheduled from January 15.) MLK had a dream, and I don't think that mine is too far off from his, certainly smaller in scope but actually a demonstration of that dream.
There are only five people in this cast: two men and three women. Any of these characters could be played by any race. Of course, that could be said of any play, but this one which takes place in an insurance office could very well be filled with people of any and all races.
We've never had this in an HG production. One might argue that this is not surprising since Tioga County is hugely populated by white residents. But certainly not everyone in Tioga County (or within driving distance for rehearsals and performances) is white. We rarely have people who are not white auditioning for roles in plays. Why is that? We have had people drive from Elmira and Corning and near Williamsport and nearly to Bath and Coudersport and Troy.
I want to make sure that Hamilton-Gibson Productions is a place where people of all races feel welcomed and safe. Theatre tells some powerful stories and some of those stories are ones that racists just might not tolerate. Theatre has the potential to transform, to change, to enlighten, to convict, to broaden. A racist can't handle that kind of change.
The auditions are February 23 at 6:30; February 25 at 6;30 and February 27 at 1:00 all at the Deane Center, upstairs, Main Street in Wellsboro. Later on Feburary 27 we host a choral celebration on the last Sunday of Black History Month of the life and vision of MLK at the Wellsboro High School. We welcome all races to audition for this play, The May Queen. I have a dream that this cast will be multi-racial. Spread the good news.