Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Broadway touts diversity now but next year tells a different story - CBC

by Mark Kennedy 
Originally published: June 7, 2016

This season, the theatre community is celebrating how Broadway has finally become the Great un-White Way.

Black actors have taken centre stage in The Color Purple, The Gin Game, Eclipsed and Shuffle Along. 

A Latin cast shines in On Your Feet! and Asian-Americans told a bitter story from America's past in Allegiance. The season's megahit Hamilton, of course, has multi-racial leads in its DNA.

At Sunday's Tony Awards, 14 of the 40 nominees for acting in plays and musicals — 35 per cent — are actors of colour. And more non-whites are nominated on the other side of the stage, including choreographer Savion Glover, director George C. Wolfe and playwright Danai Gurira.

But this season's diversity may be more a coincidence of timing than Broadway stages consistently providing an accurate reflection of America's melting pot.