Is Theatre for White People?

Written for MSPS by Ally Kwun


Eighty-three percent of of all (Broadway) tickets were purchased by Caucasian theatregoers.


What do you think of that?

That statistic is part of The Broadway League’s annual report on demographics of their audience from mid-2010 to mid-2011.  There were many other interesting points that they made, such as that 65% of theatregoers were female, that 62% were tourists, and for those over 25 years old, 78% of them had completed college and 39% had a graduate degree.

So we know that the majority of Broadway theatregoers are white, female, not from NYC (booo) and well-educated.

What are the implications of that?

(Those are just the things thought tickled my brain. Here’s the report so you can pick and choose your own: Note: I did not buy the full $25 report I’m too cheap I’m taking all of this from the executive summary.)

I think this all comes down to WHY IS DIVERSITY IMPORTANT IN THEATRE? Is it necessary? Is it the same issue as diversity in general? Is diversity in theatre possible?

All important questions I have no idea how to answer. And like all things I don’t know what to do with, I google it.

Here is what I found:
The Greater-White-Than-Ever Way
Sh*t White Theatremakers Say
More Sh*t White Theatremakers Say
Okay, then. Let’s Really Talk About It.
More Statistics That Are Useful for the Race and Theatre Discussion

Read them. Comment on them. Join the conversation.