Responding to Racism rehearsals begin
We started rehearsals for new interactive school show Responding to Racism last week. It’s a great cast. It’s been eye opening to realise how culturally homogenous ActNow Theatre has been in the past (reflective of the industry at large), and to go through the process of finding a culturally diverse cast for this project. But then it’s crazy the way that it’s very easy for me to think “oh, we need to get a culturally diverse cast for this project to be able to explore the subject matter of racism”, without actually realising I need to start getting culturally diverse casts for any project to start to address racism within our own industry. Why not have a ‘non-white’ actor in a show about homophobia, or about science of ageing, or whatever play we’re doing. It’s like my brain has assumed that it would somehow confuse the issue, instead of either making no difference, or making the politics infinitely more interesting.
So the rehearsals are going quite well. The project is the same model as other forum theatre shows that we’ve done (Expect Respect, Speak Out, Forum for Consent) in that there have all been 3-4 actors, 50-70 minutes duration, designed to be tour-able etc. In some ways it’s great to have a formulae for the structure, to be able to use techniques from past shows. But on the other hand it can be really difficult to differentiate things from past projects, to not just let it conform to a structure – which I think will be the challenge of this project; to let it find its own style.
We’ve got two more days of rehearsal before a dress rehearsal this week, and then on tour the week after. How exciting!