Fighting Stereotypes on the Minnesota Stage

Minnesota Public Radio’s Marianne Combs has a fascinating story about the Minneapolis theatre scene, and how local culturally specific theaters there have banded together to try to end racial and ethnic stereotyping on the Minneapolis stage:

“It’s really important that people of color are consulted about the ways in which our cultures are being represented on American stages,” [Penumbra Theater’s Sarah Bellamy] said. “The stakes are too high right now. Any little bit of misrepresentation or mis-characterization of who we are has so much leverage in this very vitriolic impassioned environment where we’re just grappling with our national history, and we’re doing so quite poorly.”

Bellamy points to the increased racial tensions nationwide since the election of President Barack Obama.

The changing population in the Twin Cities also signals a need for theaters to better connect with communities of color.

One of the ways that stereotypes are formed is through the stories we are told in the media, in the news, and on our stages. This is a great effort in a city that prides itself for inclusiveness to try to change representation in theatre to be more complex. 

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