Scribner Seminar Program
Mixed Race on Stage and Film
Instructor(s): Eunice Ferreira-LaMere, Theater
What kinds of stories do film and stage tell about mixed race experiences? Does performance reinforce racial stereotypes or can it challenge binary notions and lead to more nuanced understandings of racial identities? Storytelling is the primary imperative for stage and film and is one of the most effective means to communicate across differences and create community. Through the study and practice of live and recorded performance, students will consider the ways in which (re)presentations of “mixed bodies” challenge, complicate and illuminate understandings of racial and ethnic identities in contemporary culture. With a special focus on the mixed race experiences for people of African and Latino descent in the United States and internationally, the course surveys historical and contemporary representations of mixed race from the “tragic mulatto” of early American theater and film to the racial ambiguity of characters from the Matrix film trilogy and new plays that place mixed race families and transnational adoption center stage. The class will examine the possibilities by which film and theatrical engagement can lead audiences to explore issues of self-identity development, exchange personal narratives, foster meaningful conversations on diversity, and promote civic engagement.