Black skin, white pioneer: non-traditional casting in an Israeli school pageant

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The casting of a black Ethiopian Jewish girl to play a white Zionist pioneer character in an Israeli school pageant causes feelings of discomfort among the teachers, especially the vice-principal. The vice-principal uses theatrical and historical reasons to justify her opposition to the casting which can actually be perceived as new/colour-blind racism. The term non-traditional casting and its subcategories are the analytical concepts through which this case study is observed. I argue that although the vice-principal finally agreed to this unusual casting, she succeeded in shaping the situation into an essentialist, racial and national hierarchy and maintained, in this manner, the conformist order.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-358
Number of pages13
JournalResearch in Drama Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Israeli-Ethiopian Jews
  • non-traditional casting
  • race
  • school pageant


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