Bruce Norris: Playwright nixes blackface

Friday October 19, 2012

NEW YORK -- The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of "Clybourne Park" says he withdrew permission for a Berlin theater company to produce the play after learning that one of the actors would perform the roles in blackface.

Bruce Norris, in a letter dated Tuesday to the Dramatists Guild, said that managers at the Deutsches Theater said the female African-American character in the play was be performed by a white actress and producers would "experiment with makeup."

Norris called the use of blackface an "asinine tradition" and urged fellow playwrights to boycott productions of their work by German theaters who employ such tactics.

"Clybourne Park," a seven person play with two black characters, is about racial and economic changes occurring in a neighborhood over a 50-year period. It won the best play Tony Award.

-- Associated Press


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