×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Stage Directors Union Spotlights Diversity With Season’s Standout Moments

In a Broadway season that’s seen a notable explosion of diversity onstage, the union that represents theater directors and choreographers — the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) — is doubling down on keeping that momentum going.

The union has written a new statement and action plan on diversity and inclusion, and with it released a list highlighting the ways its members — including the directors of “Allegiance,” “Eclipsed” and Deaf West’s “Spring Awakening”  — have contributed to the cause over the past season.

Dubbed the Diversity and Inclusion Statement of Commitment, the document reaffirms the union’s vow to foster a broader theater industry. “SDC recognizes that the Union and its Membership have a great deal of influence, responsibility, and decision-making power in the industry,” one section of the statement reads. “SDC challenges itself and the theater community to ensure that qualified, diverse candidates are considered for each and every directing and/or choreography job on any given project or SDC staff position.”

Looking beyond “Hamilton,” this season’s flagship of Broadway diversity, the SDC list of Standout Moments of 2015-16 range from an ongoing commitment to diversity from the likes of Oskar Eustis, the artistic director of the Public Theater, to smaller actions taken over the year, such as director Davis McCallum and Dallas Theater Center a.d. Kevin Moriarty’s efforts on behalf of the Evan Cummings, who uses a wheelchair and was the SDC observer on McCallum’s production of Samuel D. Hunter’s “Clarkston” at DTC.

The statement was drafted by the SDC Diversity Task Force, which formed a couple of years ago due to member interest in the issue. The union intends to release its list of Standout Moments annually, according to SDC executive director Laura Penn.

The full roster of 2015-16 Standout Moments follows:

  • Director Michael Arden and choreographer Spencer Liff for their recent Broadway revival of “Spring Awakening” with L.A. troupe Deaf West
  • Stafford Arima for his production of “Allegiance,” the first Broadway musical with an all-Asian American creative team
  • Eustis, the artistic director at the Public Theater (“Hamilton,” “Fun Home,” “Eclipsed”), for his longtime advocacy of inclusion
  • Director Leslie Ishii for her involvement in artist-activism organization artEquity
  • Director McCallum and DTC chief Moriarty for welcoming Cummings as a production observer
  • Director Robert O’Hara for introducing directors of color into the Clubbed Thumb Emerging Directors Fellowship
  • Lisa Portes for spearheading Chicago’s Carnaval of New Latina/o Plays
  • Molly Smith, artistic director of D.C.’s Arena Stage, for dedication to diversity and parity in programming
  • Liesl Tommy for her production of “Eclipsed,” the first Broadway play with an all-female, all-African-African American cast, playwright and director
  • The organizers and producers of D.C.’s Women’s Voices Theater Festival, a team that included area company leaders Smith, Michael Kahn, David Muse, Eric Schaeffer, and Howard Shalwitz

Popular on Variety

More Legit

  • Tina Turner The Musical

    How 'Tina: The Tina Turner Musical' Tells the Icon's Traumatic Story

    It wasn’t the response Tali Pelman had hoped to receive. The group creative managing director of Stage Entertainment had traveled to Küsnacht, Switzerland, with one goal in mind: Convince Tina Turner that her life could be the stuff of a successful stage musical. “We walked in the door,” Pelman remembers. “Tina was already there, and she greeted [...]

  • Ben McKenzie

    'Gotham' Star Ben McKenzie to Make Broadway Debut in 'Grand Horizons'

    “Gotham” star Ben McKenzie will make his Broadway debut in Bess Wohl’s “Grand Horizons.” He joins a cast that includes Oscar nominees Jane Alexander (“Kramer vs. Kramer,” “The Great White Hope”) and James Cromwell (“Babe,” “L.A. Confidential”). The show has a strictly limited 10-week run and begins previews on Dec. 23, 2019, before officially opening [...]

  • The Great Society review

    Listen: Brian Cox on 'Succession,' Shakespeare, and the Crisis We're In

    Brian Cox is having a pop-culture moment with “Succession,” the buzzy HBO series in which he stars. But he’s also an accomplished theater actor with plenty of experience doing Shakespeare — and it serves him well in both “Succession” and in his current Broadway show, “The Great Society.” Listen to this week’s podcast below: Cox [...]

  • Scooby Doo Ella Louise Allaire Martin

    Scooby-Doo Live Theater Tour Is Goofy Dane's Latest Adventure

    From its 1969 start as a Saturday morning kids mystery cartoon series “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” starring its titular, talking Great Dane and his four teenaged friends, has made adventure its staple. Once Hanna-Barbera’s successor, Warner Bros. Animation, took the leash, Scooby and company became a comic book, a board game, a series of video [...]

  • Tootsie Santino Fontana

    'Tootsie' Ending Broadway Run in January

    “Tootsie,” the critically acclaimed musical adaptation of the 1982 classic film comedy, will play its final Broadway performance on Jan. 5, 2020. When it wraps up its run, the show will have logged 293 regular and 25 preview performances at the cavernous Marquis Theatre, where it sometimes labored to draw big crowds. Last week, “Tootsie” [...]

  • Laurel Griggs

    Laurel Griggs, Broadway and 'SNL' Actress, Dies at 13

    Laurel Griggs, who starred in Broadway’s “ONCE the Musical” as Ivanka, has died. She was 13. An obituary posted to Dignity Memorial indicates she died on Nov. 5, and Griggs’ grandfather wrote on Facebook that her death was due to a massive asthma attack. Griggs made her Broadway debut when she was six years old [...]

  • West End celling collapse

    Ceiling Collapse at 'Death of a Salesman' Leads to Theater Closure, Boycott Threats

    The West End revival of “Death of a Salesman” has moved into a temporary space after parts of the ceiling of Piccadilly Theatre collapsed during a Wednesday night performance. Five audience members sustained minor injuries and were taken to area hospitals. The theater will remain closed for the rest of the week. In the meantime, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content