Native Americans walk out of musical depicting stereotypes
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LARAMIE, Wyo. — The University of Wyoming is warning audiences about offensive material in a
The walkout happened Thursday during intermission, The Laramie Boomerang reported. It wasn't clear how many students attending the Native American Summer Institute at the campus in Laramie walked out of the show.
The 1960 musical, which is about two
The walkout prompted criticism from UW's United Multicultural Council and a boycott by another summer camp. The Upward Bound group
"The show especially demeans Native American cultures with outdated stereotypes of Native American appropriation by non-native actors wearing headdresses/warbonnets," according to a statement by the United Multicultural Council. "It also portrays Native American and Latino/Hispanic characters as the villains or antagonists of the show."
The university prepared a program insert for future performances explaining the scene.
"With historical productions, we see a 'point in time,' which is different from the one in which we live," the insert reads. "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."
The long-running musical, a staple of regional, community and high school
Tim Nichols, who helped set up the Native American Summer Institute, told The Boomerang that the content was unfortunate
"It's a 1960s play, but it was, in my view, inappropriate," he said. "We shared our concerns with the
Information from: Laramie Boomerang, http://www.laramieboomerang.com