Joy Dolo is black and she is playing Snow White in a lively rendition of the classic story by the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) this fall.
Well, Snow White is also played by white man Dean Holt. That’s actually the whole cast: Dolo and Holt. They both play Snow White, both play the stepmother, both play the dwarfs.
CTC’s “Snow White” is directed by Greg Banks who has helmed sprite and lively productions of sprawling stories like “The Hobbit and Robin Hood” with a handful of players. Another thread of Banks’ shows that laces through “Snow White” is the idea of shifting the perspective of classic stories. Changing who is in charge of setting the record changes can change everything.
“Depending on who,” said Dolo, “the perspective will change, the hurt will be different.”
Whether or not people relate with or trust a white man or a black woman, Dolo pointed out, the universal themes in “Snow White” bring drama and hold the audience. Snow White is trapped alone in a castle by herself. Her stepmother is mean. Her father is missing.
“There is loneliness, finding new family with the dwarves,” said Dolo. “It’s things people can relate too.”
Dolo is a Chattanooga, MS, native transplanted to the Twin Cities’ outro metro at 10 before moving to St. Paul in college and settling there. She is one of the founders of the all-black troupe Blackout Improv and has performed in previous CTC productions. She said she enjoys being on the CTC stage and seeing theatergoers of all ages engage with human emotions from just about age vantage point.
It’s children’s theater, but people from five to 75, said Dolo, know what it’s like to feel lonely, what it’s like to find camaraderie.
“Snow White” at the Children’s Theatre Company started in Sept. and runs through Dec. 8. Tickets start at $15. The Children’s Theatre Company is located at 2400 3rd Ave. S in Minneapolis. For more information call 612-874-0400 or visit my.childrenstheatre.org.
Solomon Gustavo was a contributing writer at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.