charles mee

the (re)making project

A note on casting

A note on casting

I am an old crippled white guy in love with a young Japanese-Canadian-American woman, and we talk about race and age and polio and disability, but race and disability do not consume our lives. Most of our lives are taken up with love and children and mortality and politics and literature—just like anyone else.

My plays don't take race and disability as their subject matter. Other plays do, and I think that is a good and necessary thing, and I hope many plays will be written and produced that deal directly with these issues.

But I want my plays to be the way my own life is: race and disability exist. They are not denied. And, for example, white parents do not have biological black children. But issues of race and disability do not always consume the lives of people of color or people in wheel chairs. In my plays, as in life itself, the female romantic lead can be played by a woman in a wheel chair. The male romantic lead can be played by an Indian man. And that is not the subject of the play.

There is not a single role in any one of my plays that must be played by a physically intact white person. And directors should go very far out of their way to avoid creating the bizarre, artificial world of all intact white people, a world that no longer exists where I live, in casting my plays.

—Chuck Mee