Manhattan Theatre Club's Diversity Problem

Chris Peterson

The 2015-16 season at the Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC) includes compelling dramas and insightful comedies. Their productions include some of the most talented performers Broadway has to offer. They are including premier work that will surely catch the eye of Drama Desk and Tony voters. It sounds like quite an exciting season for the Manhattan Theatre Club. 

However, the only thing that the MTC isn’t including this year, are works written by woman and people of color. 

For the first time, as long as I can remember, the upcoming season will feature works written by only white males. 

Don’t get me wrong, these are no slouch writers either. They include Sam Shepard and John Patrick Shanley, but they are all white men. Even more so, all of their directors, with the exception of Artistic Director Lynne Meadow, are white men as well. 

I personally find it disappointing that a theatre organization, ran by predominantly women, consciously made such decisions for their 2015-16 season. Especially since the MTC has been the place where some of the most celebrated works by woman and people of color have been seen. Playwrights such as August Wilson, Beth Henley, Theresa Rebeck and Lynn Nottage, have all see their work grace the stage under the MYC umbrella. 

A thetare organization can take a hiatus from featuring period shows or bedroom farces. But the organizations should never be putting diversity on hiatus. 

I’ve always said that theatre is a reflection of what is happening in our society. In 2015, race and equality have been central issues. It’s a shame that the Manhattan Theatre Club has chosen to ignore that.