Posted on October 12, 2022

Massachusetts High School Restricts Theater Production to ‘Students of Color’

Brittany Bernstein, National Review, October 7, 2022

Parents Defending Education has filed a complaint with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights over a theater production at a Massachusetts high school that appears to have restricted auditions to only students of color.

Newton North High School’s teaching and working theater, Theatre Ink, is putting on a show called Lost and Found: Our Stories as People of Color in January 2023.

The theater, which has a link to the Black Lives Matter website on its homepage, describes the performance in an audition packet as a “no-cut, cabaret-style show for students of color at North.”

“This show was created 2 years by [an alumni of the school] to provide a safe community space for students of color to express themselves through the performing arts,” the packet adds. “From hardships to celebrations, people of color have countless stories to tell. Lost and Found will be a reserved safe space for this exploration and for people of color to be vulnerable and support one another.”


It links out to an audition sign-up form that asks students how they “identify racially/ethnically” and to submit a headshot image and their preferred pronouns.

PDE argues in its complaint that the audition packet is “in violation of both Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 … and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”