Minority Actor Representation in New York Theater Dropped in the 2016–17 Season But Upward Trend…
Volunteer advocacy group Asian American Performers Action Coalition surveyed a total of 1,420 actors, to determine the representation of minority actors, playwrights and directors in New York theaters in the 2016–17 season. The findings reveal that overall minority actor representation dropped to 33 percent in 2016–17, still higher than five-season average of 29.4 percent.
The stage role representation of African Americans dropped to about 19 percent and Latinx actors to five percent, compared to the 2015–16 season. The representation of Asians increased to seven percent. Performers with disabilities accounted for 0.5 percent of all stage roles, while American Indian/Native/First Nation and Middle Eastern/North African actors accounted for 0.1 percent and 1.7 percent respectively.
Male actors got 57 percent of all stage roles, while women had 42.8 percent and non-binary people had 0.2 percent.
In directing and writing, the report found that 87.1 percent of all shows had white directors and 86.8 percent were written by white playwrights. F
or Broadway shows, 95 percent of plays and musicals were written and directed by whites.
The Asian American Performers Action Coalition hopes that the data can help determine whether production of more minority playwrights can lead to the hiring of more minority actors.