Within the Land of Oz, it does not matter in case you are Black or White.
All that issues is what’s within you, your true character, your perception in your self.
That message has made the Broadway musical Depraved, the productions in Chicago and Los Angeles and the nationwide touring firm of the musical Depraved, enormous box-office smashes.
And what’s extra interesting to theatergoers is the actors in principal roles had been solid primarily based on their expertise and never their race.
Depraved producer David Stone instructed JET in regards to the musical’s color-blind casting: “Depraved has all the time believed in race-blind casting. Since Depraved is about wanting past preliminary appearances and the colour of somebody’s pores and skin, we have all the time aimed to solid actors of varied ethnic backgrounds.”
Depraved, impressed by the basic e-book and film The Wizard of Ouncesand primarily based on the Depraved novel by Gregory Maguire, tells what occurred lengthy earlier than Dorothy drops into the Land of Oz. It tells the story of two girls–one born with emerald-green pores and skin who is sensible, fiery and misunderstood. The opposite woman is gorgeous, formidable and highly regarded. Depraved reveals how these as soon as finest associates turned enemies and the Depraved Witch of the West and Glinda, the Good Witch.
In Broadway’s Depraved, Ben Vereen has performed the Wizard. Taye Diggs has performed the good-looking prince Fiyero, who the 2 witches struggle over. Two Black actresses–Saycon Sengbloh and Brandi Chavonne Massey–also have understudied the function of the witch Elphaba on Broadway.
Within the Chicago manufacturing of Depraved, actor Derrick Williams takes on the function of the prince Fiyero, Okay. Todd Freeman performs Dr. Dillamond, the schoolteacher, and Dan’yelle Williamson is within the ensemble and an understudy for the witch Elphaba.
Within the Los Angeles manufacturing, Black actresses Celisse Henderson and Dioni Michelle Collins have performed the important thing function of Madame Morrible, the top of Shiz College within the Land of Oz.
Williams, who was within the unique Broadway manufacturing of Depraved and performed the understudy function of the prince earlier than coming to the Chicago firm, instructed JET: “I by no means thought ! would have an opportunity to do one thing like this. They all the time say, ‘all ethnicities and everyone seems to be welcomed to audition.’ After which it finally ends up being the identical outdated factor: they solid the identical individual, a White individual.”
He factors out, “However with Depraved they actually meant it and that is refreshing. It is what this present is all about. Do not choose a e-book by its cowl; issues aren’t all the time what they appear to be. They’ve had an African-American lady enjoying the inexperienced woman, Elphaba. There’s actually no cause Black individual mustn’t play these roles in Depraved.”
Actor Freeman observes: “I’m happy to see that every firm of Depraved has a special ratio of Black and White. Nothing is about in stone, ‘this character is White, and this character should be Black.'”
He notes the robust enchantment of Depraved. “Depraved is a part of our American tradition. America loves The Wizard of Oz; that is the rationale it has lasted so lengthy. Depraved is in regards to the underdog, somebody who’s ostracized due to his or her intercourse or pores and skin colour. A significant message on this play is wanting previous the exterior and searching into who an individual actually is inside and realizing that is actually a very powerful factor about an individual.”