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Amarillo Little Theatre

Color Blind Casting

For any young actor, the audition process can be difficult.

"I was a little bit intimidated auditioning for the role," said Ryan Sustaita, 18, actor at the Amarillo Little Theatre. "I didn't really know what was going to happen, but they cast me."

The role is Harold Hill in the latest production of "The Music Man." Traditionally, this part is played by a white male. But Amarillo Little Theatre is going off the script and now promotes color blind casting.

"[This] gives people of color and of different ethnicities a chance to play roles that maybe they wouldn't get to play in the big scheme of things," said Jason Crespin, ALT Academy Director.

Nine years ago, Crespin was in this same production at ALT, but the cast looked completely different.

"We merely had three Hispanics in the show," he said. "Who were all minor characters."

Now, the main role is played by a Hispanic and several minorities fill other big roles in the production.

"I think this opens it up more. And with as much diversity as ALT has shown, it's just endless opportunities for every race," Sustaita said.

Regardless of race, Crespin says every young actor will shine through to the audience.

"Once that first curtain opens, they are going to forget any sort of color on that stage and just really tune into the talent of the kids and the magic of the theatre," Crespin said.  

According to Crespin, the Academy itself has seen more minorities than ever before. He says this increase in enrollment could help diversify their productions in the future. He even hinted that the Academy could soon produce more musicals in foreign languages.

"The Music Man" opens on Mar. 27 and runs through Mar. 29. For more information call (806) 355-9991 or visit the theatre's website.

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