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Devoted & Disgruntled 12: What Shall We Do About Theatre and the Performing Arts Now?

Mixed Race Characters/Stories: Where Are They?

Annette Brook - 15 January 2017

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I called this session as a mixed race playwright who would like to see more representation of mixed race characters on stage.

Mixed race is a problematic term and can mean different things. People are often worried about saying the wrong thing about race and so don't address it at all as people don't fix the boxes. Often doesn't occur to be people that there could be mixed race characters and stories.

One attended said she was tired of not being in control of the work/stories being told to create as a performer.

The question of ‘where are you from?’

Deflecting racist/sexist jokes by asking the person telling them to explain.

Parent/child question - people not believing you are related.

Mainstream TV need to support a diverse programming agenda without tokenism. Dr Who addressing this. Film - Star Wars addressing this - imagining a different worlds so of course be as diverse as possible. TV more accomodating. Also advertising - recent Lloyds ad with Black/white gay couple.

Too many patricarchal stories of heroes and villains.

National Theatre: Rufus Norris is trying to change things in terms of race with a strong Black programme.

@MixedRaceIrish

All theatre has a moral responsibility to represent a broad range of people and show distinctions in culture but are risk averse.

Examples of mixed race characters/stories in film:

Belle
Loving (just released)
A United Kingdom
Sapphire





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COMMENTS: 3

Amy Clare Tasker

16 January 2017

Thanks so much for this session, Annette!

To anyone reading who identifies as mixed race or cross-cultural: you are invited to share your story for my verbatim project Home Is Where…

We are creating a performance that brings us all together in the in-between space, a community where none of us fit in the existing tick-boxes. As one of our interviewees put it, ‘we belong in our not-belonging.’

www.amyclaretasker.com/hyphenated
Twitter: @wearehyphenated

We are putting together a devising day in open space (in London) soon. Please get in touch if you would like to join in! amy@amyclaretasker.com
Annette Brook

18 January 2017

Thanks Amy - great to have you there!
Annette Brook

18 January 2017

BBC Three Video on Mixed Race

Excellent - sums up exactly what we were discussing.

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