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Is Broadway and the Tonys more diverse than Hollywood and the academy awards?- Page 2

Wayman_Wong
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joined:4/22/04
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Still, 3 Asians (or 4, if you count Brynner) throughout the 70-year history of the Tonys, isn't stellar. But they can't win a Tony if the roles, the casting and the opportunities aren't there.

Updated On: 1/27/16 at 12:54 PM
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Petralicious
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joined:10/22/15
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The Republican Candidates for President are more diverse than Hollywood! 

2- Hispanic

1- Black

1- Woman

1- Italian

When They Go Low, I Go High
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henrikegerman
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joined:4/29/05
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 The answer is an unqualified yes.
-

"And those parts are relegated AS black roles, which is not really the same as being diverse."
 

As TheOtherOne mentioned, Tyson and Jones just finished appearing in The Gin Game in roles usually played by white actors.  The great Sophie Okonedo is about to return to Broadway as Elizabeth Proctor in a star-studded revival of The Crucible, Elizabeth is certainly not a role relegated as black.   The great (and btw Academy Award winning) Forest Whitaker is about to appear on Broadway as Erie in Hughie, also not a role relegated as black.  

Sure, we still have a long way to go.  But Broadway has long been more diverse than Hollywood and certainly is now.

Updated On: 2/3/16 at 01:29 PM
yankeefan7
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joined:4/14/12
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"And if you are not a minority screen or TV star, you can forget about being cast in a play. "

 

I assume you mean if it is not an August Wilson play.

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GavestonPS
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joined:6/10/12
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Patash said: "Just an opinion. . . I've never really thought that taking a classic play generally considered to be about white people/white experience and doing a version where the entire cast is black instead is really much progress on the racial front.  Now if some cast members were black and some were white without the effort to make sure they were all one race -- I'd consider that a bigger move forward.

 

 

 

But to the original question -- yes, I think Broadway is light years ahead of Hollywood in its diversity.

 

"

As to your first argument, I have no problem with mixed-race casting per se, but in realistic period pieces it threatens to upend the play. Re STREETCAR, if Stella is white and Stanley is black, you'll get a very different play when Blanche calls Stanley "an ape". If the sisters are black and Stanley is white, then you get yet another very different play when Blanche so clearly looks down on her white brother-in-law. Etc. and so forth.

 

Now those other STREETCARs might be interesting evenings, but they won't have much to do with Williams' play. And the same may be said for other classic American plays. I'm not sure those who weren't alive in the 1950s can fully comprehend how segregated the country was. It's still largely segregated, in many areas, but not to the same, violent degree.

The Other One
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Plus, Stanley is Polish and is incensed at repeatedly being referred to as a Polack by his sister-in-law.

 

One of the many problems with the current black/white/racism/diversity trend is that it tends to lump people into one-dimensional categories.  "White" means very different things when you are talking about different ethnicities, such as English, Irish, Polish, Russian, Slavic, etc.  And Stanley, who has been looked down on as Polish and feels he has earned his right to never have to tolerate such scorn again after serving in the military, does not have a one-dimensional identity that can be easily substituted with another.  Neither do Blanche and Stella, would-be heiresses to a Southern aristocracy that no longer exists.

 

Also, and I sort of hate to be this guy, but...ARE Broadway and the Tonys more diverse than Hollywood.  Not "Is".  Can't help myself.

Updated On: 1/28/16 at 08:49 AM
yankeefan7
Broadway Legend
joined:4/14/12
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"This is the fault of producers- because women and people of color are certainly doing the work. The premiere playwrights of the generation, people like Annie Baker, Lynn Nottage, Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins, are winning accolades and having works produced at non-profit, off-Broadway theatres. They have yet to appear on Broadway. "

 

So in your opinion why are the people you mentioned not getting a chance. Is it totally racism? If they are having success Off-Broadway, why haven't any of these shows made a transfer to Broadway like quite a few shows. (Hamilton, Next To Normal etc). Just curious.

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Kad
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Is it producers going, "Women and miniorities writing a play? Not on MY stage!"? No, probably not.. I HOPE not, at least.

Is it producers being risk-averse and catering to an established audience base, which typically prefers recognizable titles and new plays that resemble them? Yes. The problem with that is that the majority of the recognizable titles from the American canon are by white men. The problem is that playwrights who emulate those plays are typically also white men.

The new generation of playwrights- Baker, et al- are writing things that deviate from what is typically box-office safety, and so are mostly resigned to non-profit houses off-Broadway. It's why MTC's Broadway mainstage does new plays by writers like Richard Greenberg and John Patrick Shanley.

Heck, that's why we've been seeing all-black productions of Williams plays as opposed to, say, producers putting up new plays by Lynn Nottage, Katori Hall, Suzan Lori-Parks, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.

"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
Updated On: 1/28/16 at 10:05 AM
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newintown
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To be fair, plays by Annie Baker, Lynn Nottage, Katori Hall, Suzan Lori-Parks, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, etc. take a certain amount of savvy and work from audiences, something in very rare supply on Broadway. Those audiences tend to like shows that take their hand and walk them through a clear and more easily understood experience.

 

I'm not sure why, though, it's taken as almost an insult for a play to be done regionally and Off Broadway, but not On Broadway. Except, of course, for the financial consideration that a play has the potential to make much more money on Broadway. If we're just talking about quality, many plays are produced much better regionally and in more intimate Off Broadway houses.

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Kad
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I don't think it's an insult to be produced off-Broadway at all. But this thread is about Broadway/the Tonys, and the most prominent women and people of color writing aren't being produced on Broadway stages- the most prominent and visible venue for theatre in the country.
"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
yankeefan7
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joined:4/14/12
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"The new generation of playwrights- Baker, et al- are writing things that deviate from what is typically box-office safety, and so are mostly resigned to non-profit houses off-Broadway. It's why MTC's Broadway mainstage does new plays by writers like Richard Greenberg and John Patrick Shanley. "

 

OK, that makes sense to me but doesn't success on Off-Broadway sometimes lead to show going to Broadway. For example, the subject matter in "Next To Normal" was not exactly box office safety but it did make it to Broadway. I would think if these playwrights were successful Off-Broadway somebody would take a chance on their show and move it to Broadway.

VintageSnarker
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joined:1/30/15
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"The premiere playwrights of the generation, people like Annie Baker, Lynn Nottage, Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins, are winning accolades and having works produced at non-profit, off-Broadway theatres. They have yet to appear on Broadway."

 

I feel like this is part of what stops it from being a clear comparison. That is, theoretically an indie film without big stars that comes out of Sundance could be (even if it usually isn't) nominated for an Oscar.

ChiTheaterFan
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Diversity in Theater#38
Posted: 6/2/16 at 2:07pm

I found this whole clip to be a very interesting discussion but Leslie's comments especially so. He starts talking now at about 3:40. 

http://shadowandact.com/2016/06/01/watch-leslie-odom-jr-succinctly-break-down-the-working-black-actors-dilemma-broadways-rare-moment/

I'm shocked (and disheartened) he's not getting offer upon offer for new shows. I know people had said he's planning to focus on his music career, but it sounds like that's partly a result of a lack of theater options. 


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