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The Minutes & American Buffalo Will Now Start Performances in March- Page 3

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HogansHero
Broadway Legend
joined:2/26/12
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2/26/12

A couple of comments...

1. Theatre for Black Audiences on Broadway: At the outset we must accept the fact that Broadway is (largely) a commercial enterprise. As such, it is going to produce (mostly) that which appeals to broad audiences. Next, we must accept that, in the short run at least, those audiences are largely white and it takes a lot to capture the attention of Black audiences in commercially significant ways. So yes, things have been done and will continue to be done to more meaningfully engage the Black and other POC etc communities and these are to be applauded. But Broadway is not going to turn on a dime and suddenly replace theatre of white folks with theatre of black folks. Nor should it. Or need it. Healthy means a good mix, on both a macro AND a micro level. And yes that means a good chunk is going to continue to consist of plays about WPPs with a lot of white faces. All of that said, the way to actually effect change in the theatre (and everywhere else) is to put Blacks in power positions within Broadway institutions, to get more Black producers involved in this business, and even, as I said a couple of weeks ago, to get Blacks owning theatres. If you need a template for the effect of this, look at what has happened of late in relation to gays producers and theatre owners. (Yes there have long been gay producers, but not doing what we see now from at least some of them.)

2. Suspicious New Voices. We have a spate of them, some in this thread, and another I called out in a different thread yesterday. Some are just the usual chameleonic trolls, but some seem perhaps more nefarious. Just as we have to heighten our awareness of Covid-19 in the outside world, so too we need to keep our guard up against fake social media invaders (even on this seemingly safe zone of this variant).

SouthernCakes
Broadway Star
joined:7/29/19
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Why not get into casting and change the issue or get into producing? Be active about it instead of posting on a message board that no ones gonna see and will change nothing.

I’m all for diversity! But as an actor I’m not gonna support firing half the cast to do so.
toottoot
Chorus Member
joined:6/17/20
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Sutton Ross said: "You joined 10 days ago to talk about a show that closed half a year ago. You hold no weight here. Thanks."

I'm not here to "hold weight." Not everyone on here cares as much as you about their status on a message board. As I said, I'm a long time lurker who decided to get an account and comment on a thread asking about unpopular opinions, which you decided to challenge me on, thus proving my point. Snort. And now you're insisting someone does or does not "hold weight here"...? haha! As Nina says in Black Swan, you really need to relax. 

toottoot
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joined:6/17/20
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joined:
6/17/20

SouthernCakes said: "Why not get into casting and change the issue or get into producing? Be active about it instead of posting on a message board that no ones gonna see and will change nothing.

I’m all for diversity! But as an actor I’m not gonna support firing half the cast to do so.
"

Not sure if this is directed at me, but if so, without giving away too much about myself - I work in the industry, and a corner of it that's all about making these very changes. Nobody is suggesting we fire white actors to give opportunities to POC folx, but instead are making waves to have the opportunities be first and foremost from the get-go. I don't work in commercial theater, however, and that's a whole other animal to be tamed. 

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RippedMan
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joined:8/14/05
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Okay and good for you! Well, the shows you're suggesting are all fully cast. Maybe call out the casting directors, directors, and producers, instead of the actors. Everyone needs a gig! 

toottoot
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joined:6/17/20
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joined:
6/17/20

RippedMan said: "Okay and good for you! Well, the shows you're suggesting are all fully cast. Maybe call out the casting directors, directors, and producers, instead of the actors. Everyone needs a gig!"

Again, I'm not sure if this is directed at me or not, but I'm guessing so considering the content. If not, forgive. 

The point is not to fire the actors and rehire new ones. It's the idea that the shows should have never been produced in the first place. It's a "root of the problem" problem, so-to-speak, and so therefor is very much a producer / director problem. Casting folx don't *really* dictate these things, so I suppose some can be especially clever. Casting folx can deny jobs where there either aren't outlined opportunities for POC actors beyond a quote-filler number (or 0 in the name of authenticity), or jobs that say they're "open" but could easily lead them to ultimately going against inclusive practices, but most casting is done through Telsey & Co, Tara Rubin, or a select number of other CD offices that, generally speaking, either don't care or can't afford to turn down work right now (or some combination). Casting directors generally don't have a lot of power as far as the racial make-up of a show; a few can be clever in the art of persuasion, but it's not as common as people might think. The root really exists with the heads of the creative team on a production: the director, writer(s), and producers are ultimately the key holder. One can argue, as I have, that the NY audience is the phantom limb to the equation too. 

Anyyyyyyway. Actors are there to do a job. They, like casting folx, can in turn deny offers if it's for a project that's fishy, but most aren't aware of the racial make-up of a show until much much later once rehearsals are about to begin. Also, as stated, most need a paycheck really bad. It sucks. 

We're in the middle of a pandemic and nothing is being produced full-time. Shows can be canceled and those resources can be used elsewhere. This is as perfect a time as any for the industry to actually make a shift toward real, tangible inclusion. It's heartbreaking that the chances of this happening in any actual effective manner is next to none.

Thank you for attending my TedTalk, and I apologize if I explained things or talked about things you're well versed on. 

VintageSnarker
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joined:1/30/15
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OffOnBwayHi said: "That show and Flying Over Sunset have always felt non-progressive based on all the other shows around them. And now after allthe conversation about equality and inclusion, they will really look tone deaf once Broadway opens back up."

Aside from the casting, I'm not ready to write off Flying Over Sunset because I still don't really know what it's about. Since the LCT and Roundabout shows are taken care of, I really just want Company to announce that it's coming back. 

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Jordan Catalano
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I think the fact that “Company” is still as active as it is on social media, is a good sign for their intentions for the show.
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SmoothLover
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joined:7/3/15
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Everyone who has a job in the theatre will be under a huge financial strain given that enhanced unemployment ends a July 31.

OffOnBwayHi
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joined:5/30/19
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toottoot said: "Sutton Ross said: "Broadway's history of pandering to wealthy white people is the reason a show like Flying Over Sunset will be produced. The reason The Music Man will be produced. I don't think there's any disillusion of how Broadway audiences work, there's simply a desire for them to stop being insufferable.

Yet....you are an audience member so I guess you are insufferable as well. Not like it took you admitting it for me to be aware of that fact, though. Wealthy people buy theater tickets, since it's a luxury item.Makes perfect sense. The Music Man and Flying Over Sunset will be produced which was the only thing that you mentioned that actually matters here.
"

I work for an off broadway company and get comps. I don't pay to see anything, actually. If I like a show and want to go back, I might spring for a discounted ticket somewhere. And duh they'll be produced. Nobody is arguing that. The idea that they'll be produced and illicit a rapturous response, or that anyone other than a select few who all look exactly alike are thinking about them with any serious interest or anticipation (especially during the pandemic), is likely not so. You're also not the cardholder to a monopoly on what matters, sorry to say. You're regularly insufferable and incorrect and narrow minded and short sighted and ignorant and stubborn on here, and once in a blue moon I'll let off steam reminding you of it.


"

!!!!!!

OffOnBwayHi
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For y'all that are saying "Broadway is not going to turn on a dime and suddenly replace theatre of white folks with theatre of Black folks. Nor should it. Or need it":

1. This is not something new that only Black people or people of color have been asking for. Anyone who thinks "Broadway is not going to turn on a dime and suddenly replace theatre of white folks with theatre of black folks," are the ones who need to be addressed because you are clearly just now seeing the problem. Not you checking the Black folks.

I've only been on this board for maybe a year and I've been talking about the lack of diversity in the theater industry from the jump. Many of y'all paid it dust or made fun of me, revealing your racism and reveling in your white superiority. [[Edited by Moderator  to Remove Personal Attack]]


2. White people will always have space in the theater industry. That's not true about people of color. I'm Black, but I also think A LOT about my Indian, Latino and Asian brothers and sisters, who are often nonexistent as major players in the theater industry. That's not their fault.

3. And there are only FIVE Black broadway producers. FIVE! And they are working their butts off and still struggling to mount productions because of a predominately white system that, if not racist, does not understand or fully believe in art that centers on blackness.

For example, Blue, the show that was suppose to open at the Apollo theater this year — directed by Phylicia Rashad, starring Tony winner Leslie Uggams and Emmy winner Lynn Whitfield, with music by Nona Hendryx   was playing there because they couldn't get a Broadway house. The lead producer, a Black man, waited and waited and was given the run around by Broadway houses for a long time. After being tired of that mess, the Apollo accepted him with open arms.

Meanwhile, predominantly white shows that garner lukewarm reviews off-Broadway and out of town, with no major names, are effortlessly booking Broadway houses. That deserves questioning.

With all that said, I like the board because a lot of y'all are very knowledgeable and I find community in that. However, y'all also often say and do some racists things. Why is that? Why the snarky remarks about being "woke," as if that's a bad thing? Why the pushback when a person of color expresses true feelings about why a show is tone deaf/not reading the room? Why the need to feel you have to let people know Broadway "is not going to turn on a dime and suddenly replace theatre of white folks with theatre of black folks"?

You are showing that you truly don't want a diverse theater industry, because, like I said above, no matter how many predominantly Black, Latino or Asian shows hit Broadway in a season, there will ALWAYS be space for white people.

Listen, and take some action to make change (if you really want a diverse landscape — which you seem to not), and stop trying to teach people of color what we already know. It's late and very telling of yourselves.

Updated On: 6/30/20 at 07:29 PM
JSquared2
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OffOnBwayHi said: "For y'all that are saying "Broadway is not going to turn on a dime and suddenly replace theatre of white folks with theatre of Black folks. Nor should it. Or need it":

1. This is not something new thatonly Black people or people of color have been asking for. Anyone who thinks "Broadway is not going to turn on a dime and suddenly replace theatre of white folks with theatre of black folks," arethe ones who need to be addressedbecause you are clearly just now seeing the problem. Not you checking the Black folks.

I'veonly been on this board for maybe a year and I've been talking about the lack of diversity in the theater industryfrom the jump. Many of y'all paid it dust or made fun of me, revealing your racism and reveling in your white superiority. 

2. White people will always have spacein the theater industry. That's not true about people of color. I'm Black, but I also think A LOT about my Indian, Latino and Asian brothers and sisters, who are often nonexistent as major players in the theater industry. That's not their fault.

3. And there are only FIVE Black broadway producers. FIVE! And they are working their butts off and still struggling to mount productions because of a predominately white system that, if not racist, does not understand or fully believe in art that centers on blackness.

For example, Blue, the show that was suppose to open at the Apollo theater this year — directed byPhylicia Rashad, starringTony winnerLeslie Uggams and Emmy winner Lynn Whitfield, with musicby Nona Hendryx was playing therebecause they couldn't get a Broadway house. The lead producer, a Black man, waited and waited and was given the run around by Broadway houses for a long time. After being tired of that mess, the Apollo accepted him with open arms.

Meanwhile, predominantlywhite shows that garner lukewarm reviews off-Broadway and out of town, with no major names, are effortlessly bookingBroadway houses. That deserves questioning.


You are entitled to your opinion on the first and second points -- but your third point is blatantly false. Who are the "five" BIPOC you speak of?  I have no knowledge if BLUE's conversations with the Broadway theatre owners -- but if those producers have their ducks in a row in the Spring they will have their pick of Broadway houses.  

 

Updated On: 6/30/20 at 07:37 PM
OffOnBwayHi
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JSquared2 said: "You are entitled to your opinion on the first and second points -- but your third pointis blatantly false. Who are the "five" BOPIC you speak of? I have no knowledge if BLUE's conversations with the Broadway theatre owners -- but if those producers have their ducks in a rowin the Springthey will have their pick of Broadway houses."

You are doing exactly what I mentioned in my post.

Nothing I said was false.

Google and figure out who the Black broadway producers are yourself. (Can you even name one?)

And why would he want leftovers, taking something they wouldn't willingly give initially? He has a legendary, all-star, award-winning cast and creative team. No reason why he should've not gotten Broadway house in the first place.

 

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JBroadway
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Thank you for your perspective, OffOnBwayHi - this board needs more Black voices, and more white people willing to listen to them. 


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