The decision to cast an international actor to play the lead in a new production of the musical Pippin is another snub of the enormous well of Australian theatrical talent, says the union for Australian performers.
Prior to the announcement of Gabrielle McClinton in the role of Leading Player, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance wrote to producers the Gordon Frost Organisation to inform them that the Equity National Performers Committee was not in a position to approve the import of an overseas performer.
MEAA Chief Executive Paul Murphy said it was disappointing that GFO have gone ahead and cast McClinton in one of the lead roles. “It is a huge let down that at a time when so many Australian performers are without work the producers say they could not find a suitable locally based person for the role,” he said.
“MEAA’s Equity section welcomes GFO’s response to MEAA’s communication to commit to consult with the Equity Diversity Committee about casting for future productions. This is an opportunity for GFO to formally acknowledge the lack of inclusion in our industry and adopt cultural competency in their productions.
“It is important GFO recognises that moving forward there needs to be a formal agreement to ensure transparency and inclusion. MEAA Equity will use the consultation to ensure opportunities and commitments are in place for our incredible local performers and artists who are First Nations and People of Colour,” said Mr Murphy.
Pippin plays the Sydney Lyric Theatre, The Star from 24 November 2020. For more information, visit: www.pippinthemusical.com.au for details.
Image: Gabrielle McClinton