The report shows that there has been an increase in the percentage of minority actors in relation to total number of roles. Five years ago, that statistic was 14%, compared to 21% for the last four years. There has also been an increase in percentage of minority actors being cast in roles that are not racially specific.
African-American actors have seen the most gains, going from 8% five years ago to 16% by the end of the study. Latinos went from 2% to 4% in this same time frame, while Asian Americans have gone from 3% five years ago, to 1% in the 08/09 and 09/10 seasons, and back up to 2% by the end of last year. Numbers for Native American, Arab American/Middle Eastern and disabled actors were negligible.
The report is based on tallies of the ethnic make-up of casts from all shows which opened on Broadway during this period and productions from 16 of the largest not-for-profit theatres in New York City, inclusive of The Atlantic Theatre Company, Classic Stage Company, Lincoln Center Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, MCC, The New Group, New York Theatre Workshop, Playwrights Horizons, Primary Stages, Public Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company, Second Stage, Signature Theatre, Theatre for a New Audience, Vineyard Theatre and The York Theatre Company.
The full report will be released on Monday February 13 in conjunction with a 7pm industry roundtable at Fordham University, which will feature Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang as moderator.
Those interested in attending should email firstname.lastname@example.org.