Interview with Roberta Uno (1991) Photo/Foto: HIDVL
  • TItle: Interview with Roberta Uno
  • Date: 7 Aug 1991
  • Location: Black Theatre Festival, North Carolina
  • Interviewee: Roberta Uno
  • Interviewer: Kathy Perkins
  • Duration: 00:33:10
  • Language: English

Interview with Roberta Uno (1991)

This video documentation features an interview with Roberta Uno, founder and artistic director of New WORLD Theater at the Fine Arts Center at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She gives an account of New WORLD Theater’s historical trajectory, highlighting the fact that working with young performers from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds require both a critical and committedperspective. Following the mission of providing a multi-cultural space and stage for artists of color, and contrary to the idea of a ‘melting pot,’ she proposes to show the individualities of each tradition, and look for productive dialogues from a comparative approach, which acknowledges and respects similarities and differences. Uno also underlines the importance of funding the theater space through allies in the community and their support to generate a space for cultural diverse work – a work that can only be developed collaboratively. Uno extends this dialogue into the process of reaching out to the local theater community and working directly with individuals to create performance works that defy cultural biases that a traditional framework may impose upon artists of color. In 1991, New WORLD Theater was in itself a big achievement, being ahead of its time as a cultural institution. By the second decade of the 21st century, it is possible not only to see the development of a visionary project, but also to understand Roberta Uno’s awareness of archiving artistic pieces, and to organize them by topics so that they can be accessible for researchers and artists.


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