The Friends sat down and recorded over Skype on June 14 and talked about “We See You White American Theatre,” an open letter that got more than 50,000 signatures (including from a bunch of celebrities) and what can be done to solve racism in the American theater. Then they whistle a happy tune and discuss The King and I. They watched a video of the 2015 Broadway revival and talk about how it’s problematic but they love it anyway, and how they would improve The King and I. #YourFavesAreProblematic
Their guest this episode is actor April Matthis, who was the star of the play Toni Stone by Lydia Diamond, and who’s been up for every acting award in New York City for her performance. This Obie-winning star has also been in Gatz by Elevator Repair Service, and she called in to discuss Playing on Air, a theater podcast where she acted in short plays by Dominique Morisseau and Ngozi Anyanwu, and trying to create theater in the time of COVID-19..
Here are links to things that Friends talked about in this episode.
- The We See You White American Theatre letter.
- Washington Post: “When black people are in pain, white people join book clubs.”
- Montana Levi Blanco’s Instagram video about racism in the theater.
- Rachel Chavkin’s apology to Montana Levi Blanco.
- Diep’s article about the American musical’s obsession with Asians.
- Playing on Air: website/iTunes
- Night Vision by Dominique Morisseau: website/iTunes
- G.O.A.T. by Ngozu Anyanwu: website/iTunes
- The Skin of Our Teeth at Paper Chairs Theatre Company.
- Ronald Peet doing the 24-Hour Plays.
- April Matthis doing the 24-Hour Plays.
- 2666 by Roberto Bolaño at the Goodman Theatre.
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