Until recently, theater and film productions were made predominantly by white directors and producers geared toward white audiences. Most movies had racist undertones throughout, as they attempted to portray other cultures that they knew very little about. At best, theater and film glossed over atrocities toward other races and cultures. At worst, they revised history and denied the struggle of generations of marginalized people.
As the industry matured, Hollywood and Broadway became somewhat more inclusive, but continued to typecast African Americans, Native Americans and Latinos. While African-American characters are more common on the big screen and stage these days - a long-overdue phenomenon – many studios still hesitate to invest in those productions.
This uphill battle is not over, but it’s gaining momentum. And, with community organizations like Echo Theater Collective, the future of representation in films and on the stage looks bright because we’re Breaking Barriers on Broadway.
To continue the momentum, Echo is hosting its first-ever gala and fundraiser on Friday, November 8 at the Nineteenth Century Club in Oak Park. This inaugural gala will be a festive night of dining,entertainment, music and dancing, to celebrate Echo’s two-plus years of creative and inclusive community theater events. The evening will also include performances by Reverb, Echo’s in-house ensemble