Casting artists of colour in roles traditionally played by White actors could “work to balance out [their] historical and current exclusion," according to British East and South-East Asians in Theatre and on Screen (BEATS).
The playing field for British East and South-East Asian artists is “not level”, a new colour-conscious casting guide says, highlighting access and opportunities in opera as “highly limited”.
Pan-Asian casting - casting people of the same ethnicity but of different Asian nationalities - is “generally acceptable” in the UK due to these actors historical exclusion from acting.
But make-up to make actors look more like a certain ethnicity is “never acceptable,” BEATS adds.
The guide advises opera companies should include Asian artists in creative teams and commission Asian composers in order to “have more nuanced understandings of East and South-East Asian race relations, history and culture”.