Native Americans walk out of musical depicting stereotypes

Sunday, June 18, 2017|4:07 p.m.

LARAMIE, Wyo.– The University of Wyoming is alerting audiences about offensive product in a taking a trip musical after Native American high school trainees walked out of a performance of “The Fantasticks.”

The walkout happened Thursday throughout intermission, The Laramie Boomerang reported. It wasn’t clear the number of students participating in the Native American Summer season Institute at the campus in Laramie left of the show.

The 1960 musical, which has to do with 2 surrounding dads who deceive their kids into falling in love by pretending to fight, contains a scene where characters dress up as and villainize Native Americans. Participants stated they were also stunned at the casual usage of the word “rape” in the musical’s discussion.

The walkout prompted criticism from UW’s United Multicultural Council and a boycott by another summer camp. The Upward Bound group canceled strategies to participate in Saturday’s efficiency the Department of Theater and Dance.

“The program especially demeans Native American cultures with outdated stereotypes of Native American appropriation by non-native actors using headdresses/warbonnets,” according to a statement by the United Multicultural Council. “It likewise represents Native American and Latino/Hispanic characters as the bad guys or villains of the program.”

The university prepared a program insert for future efficiencies describing the scene.

“With historical productions, we see a ‘point in time,’ which is various from the one where we live,” the insert reads. “We see portrayals of characters that hurt to view as 21st century audiences. The obstacle then, in producing historical works, is to help audiences comprehend the context and/or story for the play without taking unnecessary or unlawful liberties with the script.”

The long-running musical, a staple of regional, community and high school theater, plays in four various Wyoming neighborhoods today before closing next weekend in Laramie. The musical, which features the songs “Attempt to Remember” and “Quickly It’s Gon na Rain,” closed previously this month in New York City, having played an overall of 21,552 efficiencies in the capital of American theater.

Tim Nichols, who assisted set up the Native American Summertime Institute, informed The Boomerang that the material was regrettable

“It’s a 1960s play, but it was, in my view, unsuitable,” he said. “We shared our interest in the theater department and we shared our concerns with the trainees and, you understand, we’re OK.”

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