It’s Not Easy Being Green

Posted by Jocelyn Gan & filed under Theatre.

Esther Frid holds "El Atardecer de la Vida," a book she wrote about the stories of seven senior Latin American women living in Canada

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No, I’m not talking about riding a bike instead of driving, buying energy efficient light bulbs or shopping at a local farmer’s market. These are choices we make, but what if you are born green? How do you fit in?

I was lucky to partake in the whirlwind of song, dance, and exceptional acting of Broadway’s Wicked. The performance was a perfect balance of humour, romance, joy, and sadness laced with a nudging feeling of déjà vu. Wicked was also a showcase of the artistry put into set production, lighting, and costumes. The fashion alone spoke volumes about the characters – from the flashy outfits for those seeking attention, bland fabrics for those wanting to blend in, and a sea of ‘knock-offs’ for the entourage.

The déjà vu I experienced was around the metaphors for the overall theme of wanting to fit in and being categorized as ‘other’ based on skin colour alone. It’s a theme prevalent in today’s globally growing society where we continue patting ourselves on the back for our diversity, yet take little action to implement diverse practices or accept ‘different’ people into our circle. Wicked is also about the power of the majority, where most are not green and “it’s not about aptitude, [but] the way you’re viewed.”

It’s interesting to note that even in fairy tales all we really strive for is happiness, acceptance and comradery regardless of who we are and what we look like. No, it’s not easy being green, so perhaps we should scale back on judgments and start looking beyond the obvious differences …only to discover how similar we all are.

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