Cultural Diversity In Theater

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Social media has become a major news source over the course of the last few years. Due to its accessibility and transparency, Americans have begun a fresh conversation about current race relations and equality. Earlier this year, the issue of diversity in entertainment came to the forefront with the hashtag: #OscarsSoWhite. This pointed out the imbalance of recognition of the works of white actors and actors of color. Contrarily, with the booming popularity of Hamilton in the theater world, the Tony’s were celebrated for their diversity with the hashtag: #TonysSoDiverse. Theater has always strived to reflect the world we live in and to comment on social issues. In this way it can often be more telling of who we are as a people than Hollywood …show more content…
This report determined that 85% of actors in these theatres were white, 9% were African American, 2% were Latino, 3% were Asian American, and 1% was recorded as other. Nine years later diversity has increased. The AAPAC report for the 2014 to 2015 year reports 70% of actors in Broadway and non-profit theaters were white, 17% were African American, 3% were Latino, 9% were Asian American, and 1% were other (Bandhu). While an 8% increase in representation for African Americans is progress, the one percent increase in Latino representation is unproportioned to the growth of the Latino population in the United …show more content…
2016 has been considered a great year for diversity in theater. Hamilton, Waitress, Eclipsed, and Spring Awakening all received attention at the Tony’s this year, and were examples of the potential of equal representation of people of color, women, and disabled persons. Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of Hamilton, supports a method called colorblind casting, which attempts to be completely independent of race in relation to the way the character is originally portrayed in the script. It instead focuses on the acting and musical abilities of auditioning actors and chooses the most capable and talented. This can be seen in Hamilton, where historically white figures are played by people of color. The casting choice did not change the narrative of the story. Waitress employed a mostly female cast, and portrays Asian actress Kimiko Glenn in a larger role that was originally written for a white woman. These choices display a more realistic representation of who we are as Americans. Eclipsed was the first Broadway show to be portrayed by all black women, and to be directed by a black woman. History is being made. Deaf West Theatre’s revival of Spring Awakening re-envisioned the show to include both hearing and deaf actors, and contained the first person in a wheelchair to be cast in a role not originally written for a person in a wheelchair (Scott). This inclusion of the disabled community is sorely needed. In the two Broadway seasons leading up to the

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