Looking for feedback. I am at a 7-12 school of choice with a population of less than 1000. I am not the drama teacher, but I was coaxed back to directing and ITS sponsorship last spring. I am directing The Tempest for the spring. I cast before break and rehearsals begin Jan 12th. Here is the quandary: I am setting the play in the Polynesian islands. My diverse cast is enthusiastic and on board. However, I mentioned to 2 adults outside of education that I was considering traditional Polynesian tattoos as part of Caliban's makeup. I was told, in no uncertain terms, that would be cultural appropriation because my Caliban is white. I would like some feedback - go ahead be brutally honest. Easy enough to forget the tattoos, but I really want to keep the Polynesian setting.
Lose the tattoos. Because tattoos have deep meaning in Polynesian culture, you're setting up an unnecessary minefield for yourself. The Polynesian setting is a cool concept, and the climate would dictate costuming, but when you introduce the tattoos, you're introducing concepts that carry meaning beyond simple adornment.
I get why you want them as part of the makeup, but with a white Caliban, you're asking for trouble.