As an actress, I believe that part of the journey in improving your craft is to seek roles that stretch the boundaries of what you believe you can do. In my opinion, there are no perfect roles and there are no perfect productions. It is all art and, therefore, subjective. Each production allows the expression of an idea or a story. Each actor provides the nuance that brings the idea or story to life. The talented actor or actress has the ability to bring some part of the character’s personality into the forefront of the production. This level of creativity explains why different actors can bring very different aspects of the same character into play. It is truly one of the challenges and joys of acting!
From the perspective of an audience member, I would most like to see a broader spectrum of diversity. The world of theatre is open if we as patrons of the arts also allow ourselves to be open to the idea that the color of an actor’s skin should not dictate their suitability for a role. From the outstanding performance of the late Black actor Kyle Jean-Baptiste cast as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables to the cutting edge foresight of the multi-cultural casting in the Broadway musical Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the doors are opening.
If there is to be a perfect actor in a perfect role, it is achieved by casting the actor that can truly embody the character and transport the viewer into a world where only the art remains. If we are to see an evolution on The Great White Way, we must be willing to see the theatre that we love and cherish so much in technicolor. We must be willing to embrace and accept that the world we live in holds opportunity and promise for all and not just a privileged few. That talent does not live within the skin color of a few but can be found in a diverse array of people. This is the only way that will allow us to ever find the perfect actor in the perfect role. The question is, are we ready to set aside our preconceived stereotypical notions of who should be acting in what and instead open ourselves up to the enormous wellspring of talent diversity in casting can bring?