Color-Conscious Casting Policy

The University of Utah's Department of Theatre enforces a color- and gender-conscious casting policy. We do so because we wish to allow for as much flexibility as possible during the educational journey of our students. However, because we share the belief that the respectful presentation of underrepresented minorities and stories onstage is important, we will always work diligently to cast actors of the appropriate race, ethnicity, or gender identity when a script requires us to do so. In addition, if we do not have the constituency to cast a show appropriately from our student population, we will open our casting pool to community members of the necessary constituency. If all attempts to cast the role appropriately fail, then we will open a conversation with the Department at large to address the situation. The results of such conversations may include (but are not limited to) anything from seeking permission from the copyright holder to enact alternative casting to cancelling the production.

What is “color-conscious casting”? "Color-conscious casting intentionally considers the race and ethnicity of actors and the characters they play in order to oppose racism, honor and respect cultures, foster stronger productions, and contribute to a more equitable world. Without it, we risk perpetuating a system that privileges whiteness with greater access and opportunity, and appropriates the cultures of communities of color."*

 

*Teresa Eyring, “Standing Up for Playwrights and Against ‘Colorblind’ Casting,” American Theatre, January 7, 2016.