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Hadestown Musicians Pledge to Make Onstage Band More Equitable and Inclusive

The Tony-winning production is planning to return to Broadway on September 2.

A scenes from Hadestown on Broadway
(© Matthew Murphy)

The musicians of Broadway's Hadestown have announced that they will take steps to make the production's onstage band more equitable and inclusive when the show reopens on September 2.

In an Instagram post circulated among the show's players, cast, and creative team, the band, speaking collectively, said that it recognizes "the exclusivity of the privilege that white musicians (white men in particular) have enjoyed on Broadway as chair holders/contractors/music coordinators, and subs. As chair holders, we can change this narrative simply by choosing Black, POC, and female subs from the vast pool of musicians NYC has to offer."

Going forward, the musicians of Hadestown have pledged to appoint "a minimum of two people of color out of five subs, at least one of whom will be Black (African-American). Each of us will also choose a minimum of two self-identifying women." They are seeking to "provide access to work on Broadway to BIPOC musicians who have never played or subbed on Broadway but are qualified to do so." The hope is that other orchestra pits on Broadway will do the same, and that music coordinators will make it a priority to hire 50 percent BIPOC artists as chair holders."

Hadestown is written by singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell, and developed with director Rachel Chavkin. Following two intertwining love stories — that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone — Hadestown invites audiences on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back. The production won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Musical, with additional Tonys going to Mitchell and Chavkin, among others.

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