Episode 6 – Diversity in Casting

Listen to Episode 6 – Diversity on Stage with Weston Vrooman

Diversity on Stage
SallyPAL this week is a fantastic conversation with recent drama school grad and rising star, Weston Vrooman. I had a chance to explore the topic of diversity with Wes (one of my favorite people) and found we shared a lot of the same ideals for the theater. When the topic of “diversity” comes up it usually veers toward race. While this is a critical part of the conversation, it really is just a part of something larger and more exciting. We know we have a long way to go when it comes to diversifying the field of performing arts and play production in particular. Play producers and directors do a fairly good job providing age diversity. There is less diversity of race and sex, gender is still complicated for some of us, and body type and physical barriers are the biggest elephants in the room. When we attend a play, we are likely to see beautiful people on stage. For musical theatre, there are arguments made about the physical demands drawing a particular (fit) body type. And actors are turned down time and again for not “looking the role”. When the role is “everyperson” what does it even mean to look the role? Beyond the argument for doing away with exclusionary practices in casting, we should all be looking at how much further we will go when we adopt true diversity for the art seen on stage. Decades of excluding some of the most talented performers has left us with a rather bland array of professional actors. When we begin to encourage new voices, embrace the “other”, and highlight the need for the contributions of the artists who are often relegated to the sidelines, we can begin an age of artistic expression and expansion that will impact society in ways we cannot even fathom. Do you know an artist? Are you an artist? That voice must count. We can all support the new wave of diversity and allow the arts to once again be at the forefront of social change.
Listen to Episode 6 – Diversity on Stage with Weston Vrooman

 

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Weston Vrooman

Listen to Episode 6 – Diversity on Stage with Weston Vrooman

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