Last January Schlosspark Theatre in Berlin opened “I’m Not Rappaport” by Herb Gardner. The production featured a white actor in black-face in the role of Midge Carter, portrayed in New York by Ossie Davis.
When concerned theatre professionals complained on the website of Schlosspark, they were blocked; yet neo-Nazis, who charged that the “niggers should go back to Africa,” were allowed access.
Schlosspark insisted the production was not “racist,” that they cast a white actor because they could not find a “qualified black actor.”
The widow of Herb Gardner has deflected inquiries about the rights to “Rapport” to the agent in Germany. And she points to a 1986 conversation in which Gardner agreed to black-face “if a suitable black actor could not be found.” That time and circumstance have passed.
I am asking Actors Equity and the Dramatists Guild to decline participation in productions featuring black-face and condemn its use in Germany.