Caucasian-Aggressive Pandas and Other Mulatto Tales
Artist: Duck Washington
Date of Action: August 2021
Region: North America
Location: Burnsville, Minnesota
Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion
Confronting Bodies: Mayor Kautz and the City of Burnsville
Description of Artwork: The play was written, directed and performed by bi-racial playwright Dereck "Duck" Washington. Through wit and comedy, Washington creates dialogue about race and otherness, which offers a perspective on the experience of growing up bi-racial or as he calls it "mulatto."
The Incident: Officials at the Ames Center insisted that the Chameleon Theatre Circle change the title of the play, as they thought the word, "mulatto" would be offensive and drive away ticket sales. Washington refused to change the name and the Chameleon Theatre supported him in his refusal. Chameleon posted a public statement which indicated their determination to find "a new home for their work to insure its creative integrity in the future."
Results of Incident: This dispute added to other issues between the Ames Center and Chameleon. Chameleon decided to end their relationship with Ames and found a new space at the Bloomington Center for the arts, a public facility in a town five miles north of Burnsville, which invited Washington to be a part of their 2018 season.
NCAC Calls for Burnsville, MN City Officials to Apologize for Cancelling Play with 'Mulatto' in Title, Broadway World, May 8, 2017, by BWW News Desk
Burnsville Should Apologize For Cancelling Play: Free Speech Groups - Two free speech groups are calling on city officials in Burnsville to make amends for refusing to allow the performance of a play, Patch, by William Bornhoft, May 8, 2017