American Theatre: “Has Diversity Swept Broadway?”

onstage during the 70th Annual Tony Awards at The Beacon Theatre on June 12, 2016 in New York City.

While this season was the most diverse season ever assembled on Broadway, next year’s season is already shaping up to look more like business as usual. As even Lin-Manuel Miranda admits, “I think our incredibly, amazingly diverse Tonys season that just ended was a fluke.”

A cursory glance at the Broadway productions announced to date for 2016-17 proves his statement. Of the 23 shows confirmed with theatres, two have all-black casts (Jitney and Motown), one has a mostly Asian cast (Miss Saigon), and two have multiracial casts (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 and Gotta Dance). This doesn’t represent the whole season; 7 more shows have been announced but still await a theatre and their casting isn’t determined. By comparison, in 2015-16, a total of 39 shows opened on Broadway.

Read the rest at American Theatre, part of my monthly “Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion” column.


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