Minnesota Theater cancels Cinderella production because cast is ‘too white’
- The Chanhassen Dinner Theaters were scheduled to host a production of Cinderella later this year.
- However, the show was scrapped when its artistic director noted that the cast was overwhelmingly white.
- Chanhassen Dinner Theaters has recently hired a diversity consultant and instituted new ‘Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’ protocols
- A Footloose production, which will feature a more racially diverse cast, is now planned for 2022.
A local Minnesota theater canceled a production of Roger & Hammerstein’s Cinderella because its cast was “too white.”
The Chanhassen Dinner Theaters were scheduled to host the show later this year before its artistic director chimed in to criticize its lack of diversity.
“It was 98 percent white,” art director Michael Brindisi told Pioneer Press on Wednesday after seeing who had been cast.
However, Chanhassen, located southwest of Minneapolis, has a population that is overwhelmingly white, and the racial demographics of the cast were not surprisingly different from the city as a whole.
According to the most recent census, 92.5 percent of the people in Chanhassen are white. Less than 3 percent of the residents are Hispanic, while 1.1 percent are black.
No photos of the Cinderella cast were officially released before the show was canceled.
Chanhassen Dinner Theaters canceled a production of Roger & Hammerstein’s Cinderella because its cast was ‘too white’
Dinner and show! Chanhassen, located southwest of Minneapolis, has a population that is overwhelmingly white, and the racial demographics of the cast were not surprisingly different from the city as a whole.
Cinderella has been performed around the world for decades and typically features a majority cast of whites. Pictured: A Cinderella performance on Broadway in New York City in 2013
In a statement released Monday, the theater stated: ‘After careful consideration and with our continued commitment to diversity, fairness and inclusion, we have made the decision to cancel our next production.
‘In addition to changing future programming, we are establishing new pre-production protocols. We will invite (and pay) BIPOC artists to discuss production with our creative teams through a new lens of diversity, fairness and inclusion … This conversation will take place before the design and casting process begins. ‘
Chanhassen Dinner Theaters have hired a diversity consultant and committed to “identity-conscious casting and becoming a more intentionally anti-racist theater.”
Meanwhile, the organization is up to date.[ly putting together a production of The Music Man and has a ‘strong priority placed on casting BIPOC artists’.
Many of the productions put on by Chanhassen Dinner Theatre in recent years have featured a majority-white cast (pictured). They have now instituted new diversity protocols
The cast of Chanhassen Dinner Theatre’s Mamma Mia are pictured
Meanwhile, Brindisi told the Pioneer Press that the theater considered recasting the Cinderella.
However, they decided to scrap the show and start from scratch with a separate production.
While some cast members were upset by the news, Brinidisi says that most ‘respected the very hard decision we had to make.’
Chanhassen Dinner Theatres will replace Cinderella with a more diverse adaptation of Footloose, now scheduled for 2022.
Artistic director Michael Brindisi called out the fact that Cinderella’s cast was 98 percent white. The production has now been scrapped