Abstract

Last December, actress Tonya Pinkins abandoned a Classic Stage Company production of Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children just days before it was scheduled to open; Pinkins and the white director of the play, Brian Kulick, had sparred over Pinkins's interpretation of the role, and apparently the creative differences became irreconcilable. In a statement released by Playbill, Pinkins said,

When Black bodies are on the stage, Black perspectives must be reflected. This is not simply a matter of “artistic interpretation”; race and sex play a pivotal role in determining who holds the power to shape representation. A Black female should have a say in the presentation of a Black female on stage. … As we enter 2016, the collective White creative community has a responsibility to bring as many ‘others’ into the room, both onstage and offstage, before, during and after decisions are made. Only then will the beauty of global humanity be heard, seen, and finally understood, so that the truth wipes away the misconceptions and misappropriations that cause the fear which foments violence around the globe.

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