Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Cindy Melby Phaneuf


This thesis equivalent project is concerned with actors of color in traditionally white roles, specifically a black actor playing Fredric Egerman in the UNO production of Stephen Sondheim’s, A Little Night Music. Rarely have black actors been given the opportunity of playing the romantic leading man in films, television or in the theatre. The stigma of color and race has often excluded many talented performers from these roles when the only concern should be an actor’s individual talent. This paper is an attempt to address this dilemma and ask the questions: Do we violate the play and the playwright’s intention my casting actors of color in roles originally conceived of as white? Will an audience accept a black actor playing a white part? Can we or should we try to ignore the issues of color and race in the theatre?


A Thesis-Equivalent Project Presented to the Department of Dramatic Arts and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1994 Kenneth Lyles Glenn.