I have been tossing this around and around in my mind and the thing I find completely BOGGLING is: Has Mr. Steven Sater, the Book writer and lyricist of “The Nightingale” at La Jolla Playhouse, thought about the irony of the casting controversy in relation to THE STORY AND MORAL of “The Nightingale” that he has developed?
Ok, so for those of you who might be interested, here is the full text: http://hca.gilead.org.il/nighting.html — But Mr. Sater has taken liberties and departed from Hans Christian Andersen’s story where “In China, you know, the emperor is Chinese…” as we all know, in this production he isn’t, but I digress. In Mr. Sater’s version, the emperor leaves his privileged life as a pampered, spoiled, entitled mama’s boy and follows a fisherwoman he gets jiggy with (that’s later), out of the palace in search of the nightingale and discovers what life is like outside in the real world. He sees poor folk and fishermen and how the other half lives. In a way, he falls in love with his kingdom and decides to save the people in it and marry the vapid princess-daddy’s-girl to avoid an invasion. Ok I’ll stop there… you get the picture.
Mr. Sater… come out of your porcelain tower of privilege and hear what people are saying. You don’t have to be afraid. You can cast Asians in your show and you CAN have the power to tell this story maybe by learning from them first hand about how East meets West. They might even be able to tell a multi-cultural story. Hell, they might even be able to tell a story set in China.