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Tony Winner Rachel Chavkin Says Broadway Needs More Women Directors

Hadestown” director Rachel Chavkin, who won her first Tony Award on Sunday night, used her acceptance speech to make a call for greater diversity and representation on Broadway.

“I wish I wasn’t the only woman directing a musical on Broadway this season. There are so many women who are ready to go,” Chavkin said while on stage accepting her statue. “There are so many artists of color who are ready to go. And we need to see that racial diversity and gender diversity reflected in our critical establishment too.”

She continued, “This is not a pipeline issue. It is a failure of imagination by a field whose job is to imagine the way the world could be. So let’s do it.”

Backstage at Radio City Music Hall in New York, Chavkin expanded on those sentiments. “Our field is filled with progressive people, and yet our field is not exemplary of living its politics, first and foremost who is telling these stories and what stories need to be told,” she said to reporters in the press room. “There has to be a lot of attention paid to our own backyard.”

Chavkin was previously Tony-nominated for her musical “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812.” While on stage, Chavkin praised her collaborator, singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell. The two worked for years to bring the musical, a folk-operatic retelling of the Greek myth of Orpheus, to the Great White Way.

“I watched the show again two nights ago and was undone all over again for the beauty of your vision, for the world and how we heal ourselves through song and through each other,” Chavkin said.

Bradley King, who won for lighting design of a musical for “Hadestown,” also preached for greater representation.

“A lot of people think we don’t have younger designers of color or younger women designers,” he said backstage. “That’s absolutely false. They aren’t given the opportunities for the bigger and bigger shows. They’re not in the room to make the connections.”

“Hadestown” scored a leading 14 nominations, winning eight including best musical.

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