Cicero-North Syracuse High School of Cicero, N.Y., is receiving criticism for its all-White cast of “The Wiz” (pictured), according to Syracuse.com.
To some, the all-White cast misrepresents the available talent of African-American students.
“It sends the message that there are no talented African-American students and that message is a lie,” Letrice Titus, an African-American woman, told the Post-Standard.
“Was there any outreach to the African-American students in the school? Why didn’t the school just do ‘The Wizard of Oz’?”
Last month, Titus reportedly voiced her concerns to the school’s musical director, Caryn Patterson, after her daughter, Kierrah Titus, auditioned for a lead role in the play.
Titus dropped out of the cast, after officials offered her an ensemble role instead of the lead role she auditioned for.
“I’m not just a parent upset that my daughter didn’t get a role,” Letrice Titus said. “I think it’s wrong.”
While Patterson declined to speak with the Post Standard, the school is defending her casting choices. According to C-NS Executive Principal Melissa Julian, only seven African-American students auditioned for the musical and Kierrah was the only one to seek the lead role.