On being cast: Identity work

Smith, Kirstin (2020) On being cast: Identity work. Platform. pp. 36-51.

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This article examines the relationship between being cast and identity, arguing that casting not only functions as an index of identity in a given context, but also reveals quotidian identity work. I analyse Zawe Ashton’s Character Breakdown, framing it as an example of an actor’s effort to decolonise casting (in a British context). Drawing on Judith Butler and Randy Martin, I define identity work as negotiating between value abstractions, social discipline and intimate corporeality. Character Breakdown depicts a search for different ways to cite identity and thereby different ways to labour. I explore how an actor materialises in being cast, the surrogation involved in identity work, and the possibilities that resistant casting practices have held for reconstituting that work. I contextualise the portrayal of present-day casting in Character Breakdown with archival sources documenting the history of casting and being cast in the United Kingdom. Casting in the present is portrayed as both haunted by repertory typologies and engaged in new, still limiting forms of stratification.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: casting,identity,work,visual arts and performing arts ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1200/1213
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Modern and Contemporary Writing Research Group
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Creative Writing Research Group
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Creative-Critical Research Group
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2021 23:50
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2024 01:00
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/79791


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