Theater Jobs Mostly Go to White Men, According to New Study

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When it comes to diversity in theater, women and minorities are
unsurprisingly underrepresented in the industry.

According to a new study from the labor
union Actors’ Equity that looks at employment data from
2013-2015 shows, minority stage managers and actors are getting
fewer jobs then their white, male peers. In the most lucrative
productions, like Broadway shows and national tours, women
reportedly had only 35 percent of the principal roles in plays,
42 percent of principal roles in musicals, and 37 percent of
stage manager jobs.

White people are hired for the majority of on-stage contracts
and have higher salaries, with black members reporting salaries
10 percent lower than white members on average. And only 11
percent of the principal roles Broadway and touring plays and
nine percent of those in musicals go to black performers.
According to the New York Times, six of 137 stage
management jobs for Broadway and touring productions during
2013-2015 went to black people.

The study comes at a time when companies, critics, and actors are taking a hard look
at diversity in the theater industry. A study released last year
from the Asian American Performers Action Coalition found that
there was an uptick in casting more actors of color in New York
theater and earlier this year New York’s Midtown Theatre
Subdistrict Council pledged $2 million to
different organizations to help increase diversity in NYC

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