neyronrose (neyronrose) wrote,

Wednesday so far

I went to bed at 1:30 a.m. and slept pretty well.  I got up at 9:30 a.m.

I sat under the sunlight-effect lamp for half an hour and read a bit of Black Musical Theatre: From "C**ntown" to "Dreamgirls" by Allen Woll.  It was published in 1989.  It should cover what happened in the Harlem Renaissance.  I'm still on the late 1800s and early 1900s.

I made it to an appointment.

My plan for the day is to read more of Black Musical Theatre and maybe watch some videos.  Tomorrow I want to go to Trader Joe's and get melatonin.

Later: I finished Black Musical Theatre.  As I thought from before reading this and from before reading the books about minstrel shows, white audiences and reviewers wanted stereotypes well into the twentieth century.

I hadn't known how much Langston Hughes contributed to theater in the 1950s and until his death in 1967.  I knew he'd written a play titled Mulatto (1935) but he wrote a number of other plays as well.

There was a part about how Actors Equity worked towards integration, particularly in the 1960s.  Frederick O'Neal became president of Actors Equity in 1964.  He'd already faced discrimination and studied discrimination for years.  Here's a paragraph with a bit at the end that fascinated me.  "Frederick O'Neal became increasingly dismayed by the seeming failure of Equity's program and policies.  In 1967, Equity formally admitted that discrimination still existed in the theatre.  The seventy-two-member governing body endorsed President O'Neal's statement and sent a missive to producers and casting directors.  When asked by the New York Times for his opinions on the matter, O'Neal wondered 'How long does one wait for voluntary compliance with these things?'  Contemplating the failure of Actors Equity's plans, he mused that 'those outside the theatre are going to force the issue.'  He envisioned theatres picketed by civil rights groups protesting the poor treatment of black actors.  In fact, CORE had already picketed the all-white musicals How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Subways Are for Sleeping in 1962.  The settings, an office and the New York City subway system, could logically have had black cast members, but neither show moved in this direction."

I know Darren Criss played a part in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying in 2012(?).  That paragraph made me wonder if the play had had any non-white actors before him.  I'll quote the start of the next paragraph.  "The New York State Commission for Human Rights investigated theatrical hiring policies the following year, and its conclusions were similar to those of Equity's study.  Of the 523 actors in 22 Broadway shows in March, 1968, only 57 were black, 7 Hispanic, and 1 of Asian origin."  It's rather like GLAAD's 2012 and 2013 reports on scripted TV shows.  GLAAD has "Diversity of 796 Series Regular Characters Announced on Broadcast for 2013-2014: Race/Ethnicity"  There are 613 white characters, 86 Black characters, 39 Latino/a characters, 44 Asian/Pacific Islander characters, and 14 counted for what GLAAD calls "other" or multi-racial characters.

Later: I talked with A. for over an hour.  One of the things we talked about was stereotypes.
Tags: books, friends, rambling, reading

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