NON-RACIAL CASTING IN AFRICAN THEATRE AND CINEMA
Racial and non-racial casting in theatre and cinema has become a widely, and sometimes hotly discussed issue in European and North American performance. The debates are fuelled by the increasing popularity of experimental, post-colonial and inter-cultural performance. However, there has been little such debate in Africa, even though there are many examples of performances which play with cross-racial conventions and stereotyping. This paper interrogates indigenous traditions of non–racial casting, the influence of popular European forms such as minstrelsy, and problems of casting in the realistic tradition of African theatre
and cinema. The dialectic of all these traditions impacts on identities in post-colonial and post-apartheid performance. The article uses analytic tools of theatre and performance theory to interrogate the casting practices and principles.
Keywords: non-racial casting, creative resistance, blackface, African theatre, stylized performance.