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A Call for Dialogue

Cultural Microaggressions in Theatre Reviews: A Call for Dialogue http://howlround.com/cultural-microaggressions-in-theatre-reviews-a-call-for-dialogue#sthash.TH9ZoWdw.dpuf

This article starts with the cultural microaggression in a review of Ropes by Barbara Colio: “It is curious that Ropes…possesses no Latino flavor or content.”

If I were to reflect on where this article left me, I’d have to say filled with hope, which seems ironic given the reiteration of Michael Sommers’ review. Not only does this article understand the power of a critic and how a critic’s work translates to the larger public, but it demands that that same power remains under scrutiny. The power of a critic shouldn’t be regarded as an infallible lens through which one can enter an artistic piece but rather a lens that can hold fallacies for which the critic can be held accountable for.

From a personal standpoint this article references the complexities of being a Latino/a playwright in a way that I’ve never encountered and empathized with so strongly: “Latina/os are people from vastly different cultures, realities, and experiences. To say that something is or is not Latina/o is an attempt to flatten a deeply layered cultural group.”

I often find that it can be incredibly difficult to express this sentiment with which I align with so profoundly in a manner that is conducive to generating some sort of change, yet this article seems to do just that while remaining pointed and direct while simultaneously tactful. It calls for a dialogue that does not halt conversation for fear of offence but rather encourages a  conversation and dialogue surrounding artistic works by people of color that understands the charged nature and demands careful consideration. “We write this article to begin a dialogue about thoughtful theatre criticism. We believe we should all strive to do better work as artists and as those who examine artistic work for the larger public.”

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