“following complaints by students”
Not enough roles were given to Latino students so the whole show has been shut down.
Campus Reform reports:
University play canceled after not having enough ‘Latinx’ actors
Kent State University canceled its fall production of West Side Story following complaints by students that the casting was insensitive to “Latinx” students.
West Side Story, a spin-off of Romeo and Juliet involving Polish-American and Puerto Rican street gangs, has a large number of Puerto Rican lead characters. Some students say Kent State’s School of Theatre and Dance should have given these roles to Latino and Latina students, according to Kentwired.
Students complained not only that none of the three Puerto Rican character lead roles were given to “Latinx” students, but also that some of the Puerto Rican character supporting roles were given to white students. Some complained that the school gave ensemble roles to white students instead of Latino and Latina students, some of whom received no part at all.
Kent State theater major and Latin/x in Theater President Viviana Cardenas auditioned for a lead role and was disappointed to find out that it was ultimately given to an African American student.
“It’s more than just getting a role,” she told Kentwired. “I don’t get to tell other people’s stories because of the color of my skin, but yet when there is this story that is about people of cultures like me, about people of color like me, and that gets taken away from me…that was the most heartbreaking.”
“I think the professors who made the decision wanted the best for the show, and that’s what they considered, and that’s it,” Cardenas added. “I think there are more things that need to be considered than just that.”
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