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Nationally known musical theater company asks job applicants how they would 'disrupt the toxic whiteness' of the genre

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Village Theatre in Washington state took down the question after being confronted and blamed the 'unintentionally inflammatory language' on an 'administrative oversight'

Photo by Ken Hively/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Village Theatre, a nationally known musical theater company in Washington state, asked job applicants how they would "disrupt the toxic whiteness of the musical theatre genre," Jason Rantz of KTTH-AM reported.

What are the details?

Rantz — a conservative radio host who regularly appears on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" — shared the revelation in his Wednesday column.

He said the question was among a series of political queries on the application the company's Youth Education Teaching Artist position — and that the question prompted at least one individual to reconsider applying.

Rantz also noted that staff members of Village Theatre, located in Everett and Issaquah, recently "got woke."

More from his column:

The nonprofit adopted a radical activist posture to fight what they believe to be systemic racism in the world of theater. In June 2020, the group vowed to embark on an "intentional journey" to be an "anti-racist organization — one that takes action against inequity and to dismantle structural and institutional racism."

They vowed to be open-minded. But, apparently, they're merely looking for employees who share their political positions.

In the application for the position in its KIDSTAGE program, Village Theater asked applicants: "How do/would you disrupt the toxic whiteness of the musical theatre genre?"

Rantz said a prospective applicant who told him about the question was "shocked" by the "radical aims of their hiring process."

And then when Rantz's KTTH show asked the theater if the question was appropriate — particularly given the prospective applicant's concern over discrimination for politics and whiteness — Rantz said Village Theatre scrubbed the question.

The theater in a statement said it was appreciative of being alerted to the "unintentionally inflammatory language" in the application, which it blamed on an "administrative oversight."

What is Rantz's hunch?

Rantz said a review of Village Theatre's website offers hits about where it's coming from:

Village Theatre complains that the "musical theatre industry is predominately led by white men" and promises to "address oppressive white cultural norms in our programs." Those oppressive norms include "worship of the written word" (Village Theatre doesn't teach respect for the playwright?), "objectivity" (apparently it's white supremacy to strive for objectivity), and a "right to comfort" (an odd position from activists who claim everything is racist).

He added that the application asks potential employees, "What does anti-racism look like in your classroom?" Rantz also said the company's website makes it seems as though Village Theatre is "consciously hiring people on the basis of race, not necessarily skill."

What's more he reported that the musical theater company "even appears to pay interns on the basis of race. They claim that 'by nature' the unpaid internships they offer 'give a leg up to predominately-white middle/high-income students who are able to afford a summer with no income.'"

In contrast, Rantz said Village Theatre offers "full-time paid internships to Black, Indigenous, and Students of Color (BISOC) to start to tackle this inequity."

You can read Rantz's full column here.

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