Walkout at Wyoming Performance of ‘Fantasticks’

June 19, 2017

The Fantasticks was an off-Broadway musical that ran for more than 40 years and made famous such songs as “Try to Remember.” The show has also become popular for campus productions. But the show, written in 1960, does not reflect modern awareness on some issues -- a reference to rape is portrayed as humorous, and characters dress up as Native Americans. Those parts of the show prompted Native American high school students to walk out of a production last week at the University of Wyoming. Others vowed future protests, The Laramie Boomerang reported.

The university's theater department prepared an insert for the program going forward. “With historical productions, we see a point in time, which is different from the one in which we live,” says the insert. “We see portrayals of characters that are painful to watch as 21st-century audiences. The challenge then, in producing historical works, is to help audiences understand the context and/or story for the play without taking undue or illegal liberties with the script.”

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