Well it’s not because the show appears to be decidedly mediocre according to our LemonMeter Rating. Nope. It’s because a whole bunch of folks find this production’s use of “redface” to be incredibly racist. Check out the freakin’ rodeo of protest that’s occurring on the REDCAT Facebook page for the event. Check this comment from someone called Sarita See:
I deeply admire TWG’s work. But no longer. I walked out of tonight’s show because I felt like I was attending the avant-garde theater’s equivalent of a red face frat theme party. While I’ve studied and written about the long traditions of racism in the experimental as well as mainstream arts, I was ill-prepared for this barefaced reversion to red face as an attempt to revise Shakespeare’s revision of Greek tragedy. Yes, I “got” the attempts at postmodern, postracial irony and farce, e.g. the repetition of the line “John Wayne’s teeth” from Chris Eyre’s movie Smoke Signals, the use of what looked like anthropological footage of Natives, etc. But in the end TWG’s message is that white people think they can do anything. Especially to Native peoples.
Haven’t seen the show so can’t comment myself, but man, there are some irate peeps on this case and they want this show canceled and closed. Appears that REDCAT is basically dismissing them, even making a second event page to try and shed some of the bad publicity. The show is closing this weekend so there’s that.
The critics have been mostly critical of the overall incoherence of the production but haven’t really dug in on the “racist” angle. Anybody out there see the show and care to comment?
About the Author: COLIN MITCHELL: Actor/Writer/Director/Producer/Father, award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Broadway veteran, Marvel comics scribe, Van Morrison disciple, Zen-Catholic, a proud U.S. Army Brat conceived in Scotland and born in Frankfurt, Germany, currently living in Los Angeles and doing his best to piss off as many people as possible.