Asian American Performers Action Coalition releases diversity report for 2011-12 New York City theater season

The Asian American Performers Action Coalition recently released its annual report, "Ethnic Representation on New York City Stages," detailing the ethnic distribution of actors hired this past theater season on Broadway and at the top sixteen not-for-profit theater companies in New York City.

In the 2011-2012 season, African American actors were cast in 16% of all roles, Hispanic American/Latino actors in 3%, and Asian American actors in 3% (others, including Arab American/Middle Eastern and Native American actors, comprised 1%).

Caucasian actors filled 77% of all roles, and surprise! continued to be the only ethnicity to over-represent compared to their respective population size in New York City and the Tri-State area.

For the second year in a row, the not-for-profit sector lagged far behind the commercial sector when it came to hiring minorities. Minority actors filled 25% of all roles on Broadway for the past two years, the highest percentage in the six years studied in the report. Asian Americans increased a percentage point over the previous year to 3% -- a six-year high for Broadway.

In contrast, the non-profits, which had once consistently hired more actors of color than the commercial sector, has fallen below the industry average of 20% for the second year in a row, landing at 19% this past year. Asian American actors have been at their lowest point, 2%,for three years in a row within the non-profit sector.

The report also tracks the number of minority actors cast in roles that are not racially-specific (Non-Traditional Casting) as an indicator of the openness of the industry. Only 10% of all roles received by actors of color were not defined by the color of their skin.

The full report is available for download on the AAPAC website.

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