University of Wyoming musical causes Native Americans to walk out
Racism is not so “Fantastick.”
Native American high schoolers attending a production of “The Fantasticks” put on by the University of Wyoming provided their own second act by walking out during intermission.
The students had been attending the Native American Summer Institute at the school’s campus in Laramie to expose them to a college environment last week when they witnessed a scene featuring characters in stereotypical Native American clothing as they staged a kidnapping, the Laramie Boomerang reports.
“The show especially demeans Native American cultures with outdated stereotypes of Native American appropriation by non-native actors wearing headdresses/warbonnets,” said the University of Wyoming’s United Multicultural Council in a statement of support of the high schoolers.
“It also portrays Native American and Latino/Hispanic characters as the villains or antagonists of the show.”
A scene from the 1995 film adaptation of “The Fantasticks.”
The Upward Bound group, a summer camp for recruiting low-income students, also abruptly canceled plans to attend Saturday’s performance of the 1960 musical produced by the Department of Theater and Dance in response to the outrage.
The students at the showing of “The Fantasticks” were also reportedly upset by the production’s inappropriate use of the word “rape.”
The school is now warning audiences about the musical’s offensive content with a program insert.