Tag Archives: Lloyd Suh

Playwright Takes Stand Against White-washing of His Play

November 18, 2015
Clarion University student actors Sam Atwell and Kiah Harrington-Wymer in a rehearsal photo from the school's planned production of “Jesus in India” published to social media. (Photo Credit: Clarion University)
Clarion University student actors Sam Atwell and Kiah Harrington-Wymer in a rehearsal photo from the school’s planned production of “Jesus in India” published to social media. (Photo Credit: Clarion University)

The theatre world is embroiled in controversy right now over the attempted White-washing by Clarion University of Lloyd Suh’s cutting-edge play, “Jesus In India”.

Suh’s play — an irreverent exploration of popular conceptions and misconceptions of historical religious figures — includes several characters of Indian descent. However, when Professor of Theatre at Clarion University Marilouise Michel decided she wanted to put on a student production of the play this year, she seized upon a quip by Suh in one of the play’s liner notes (wherein he describes the play’s appeal as “universal”) and interpreted it as license to cast non-South Asian actors as characters named “Gopal”, “Mahari”, and “Sushil”. Michel also decided to make dramatic rewrites to the play (which originally contained only two or three songs). She commissioned a full songbook, transforming the play into a musical.

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