No Safe Spaces: Re-casting Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality in American Theater (Theater: Theory/Text/Performance)

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9780472051212: No Safe Spaces: Re-casting Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality in American Theater (Theater: Theory/Text/Performance)
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"No Safe Spaces opens up a conversation beyond narrow polemics . . . Although cross-racial casting has been the topic of heated discussion, little sustained scholarship addresses both the historical precedents and theoretical dimensions. Pao illustrates the tensions and contradictions inherent not only in stage representations, but also in the performance of race in everyday life. A wonderful book whose potential readership goes well beyond theater and performance scholars."
---Josephine Lee, University of Minnesota

"Non-traditional casting, increasingly practiced in American theater, is both deeply connected to our country's racial self-image(s) and woefully under-theorized. Pao takes on the practice in its entirety to disentangle the various strands of this vitally important issue."
---Karen Shimakawa, New York University

No Safe Spaces looks at one of the most radical and enduring changes introduced during the Civil Rights era---multiracial and cross-racial casting practices in American theater. The move to cast Latino/a, African American, and Asian American actors in classic stage works by and about white Europeans and Americans is viewed as both social and political gesture and artistic innovation. Nontraditionally cast productions are shown to have participated in the national dialogue about race relations and ethnic identity and served as a source of renewed creativity for the staging of the canonical repertory.

Multiracial casting is explored first through its history, then through its artistic, political, and pragmatic dimensions. Next, the book focuses on case studies from the dominant genres of contemporary American theater: classical tragedy and comedy, modern domestic drama, antirealist drama, and the Broadway musical, using a broad array of archival source materials to enhance and illuminate its arguments.

Angela C. Pao is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Indiana University.

A volume in the series Theater: Theory/Text/Performance

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About the Author:

Angela C. Pao is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Indiana University.

Review:

"The first full-length study to engage the timely and challenging topic of what is often called 'nontraditional casting' is a learned, eloquent, and important book."
Choice (Highly Recommended)

(R. Remshardt Choice 2011-04-01)

Winner: Association for Theatre in Higher Education 2011 Outstanding Book Award

(ATHE Outstanding Book Award 2011-08-25)

"...provides a key exploration of the potential shifts in cultural power that may result from meaning-making casting practices, as Pao reopens questions of nontraditional casting and repositions previous debates for a new generation of theatre practitioners and scholars."
—Tiffany Noell, Theatre Survey
(Tiffany Noell Theatre Survey 2013-02-20)

"Angela Pao's No Safe Spaces is an outstanding contribution, important not only for those interested in theater and performance studies but also for scholars invested in examining the complexities of race, the centrality of the body, and the entanglements between the cultural and the political." 
—Chris A. Eng, Journal of Asian American Studies
(Chris A Eng Journal of Asian American Studies)

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