CMU School of Drama

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Is the Lack of Diversity on Broadway a Trickle Up Effect? Or Is it a Circular Problem?

OnStage Blog: I started to wonder why in 2017, it is still such a struggle for performers of color (POC) to be cast on major stages. With the high profile shows of Hamilton casting the majority of their actors specifically and intentionally with POC, and with large Asian casts in the formerly running The King and I and currently running Miss Saigon, it appears as if the general landscape of casts on the stage has changed. This is misleading. This is not to say that Hamilton has not opened doors for actors and audiences as well, but the casting of Hamilton has not changed how other shows are cast. In addition, the roles for predominantly Asian casts often perpetuate negative stereotypes. In short, the numbers for POC in Broadway shows have gone up in the last couple of years, but mainly due to The King and I and Miss Saigon. The problem of real diversity on stage still exists.

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