Minnesota theater cancels production of Cinderella because the cast is ‘too white’

Minnesota theater cancels production of Cinderella because the cast is ‘too white’

  • Chanhassen Dinner Theatres was scheduled to stage 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 Theatres has recently hired a diversity consultant and instituted new ‘Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’ protocols 
  • A production of Footloose, which will feature a more racially diverse cast, is now being planned for 2022 instead  

A local Minnesota theater has cancelled a production of Roger & Hammerstein’s Cinderella because its cast was ‘too white’. 

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres was scheduled to stage the show later this year before its artistic director stepped in to slam its lack of diversity. 

‘It was 98 percent white, ‘ the artistic director, Michael Brindisi, told the Pioneer Press on Wednesday after looking at who had been cast. 

However, Chanhassen – located southwest of Minneapolis – has a population that is overwhelming white, and the racial demographics of the cast were not strikingly different from the city as a whole. 

According to the most recent census, 92.5 percent of people in Chanhassen are white. Less than 3 percent of residents are Hispanic, while 1.1 percent are black. 

No photos of the Cinderella cast were officially released before the show was scrapped. 

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres has cancelled a production of Roger & Hammerstein’s Cinderella because its cast was ‘too white’

Dinner and a show! Chanhassen - located southwest of Minneapolis - has a population that is overwhelming white, and the racial demographics of the cast were not strikingly different from the city as a whole

Dinner and a show! Chanhassen – located southwest of Minneapolis – has a population that is overwhelming white, and the racial demographics of the cast were not strikingly different from the city as a whole

Cinderella has been performed around the world for decades, and usually features a majority white cast. Pictured: a performance of Cinderella on Broadway in New York City in 2013

Cinderella has been performed around the world for decades, and usually features a majority white cast. Pictured: a performance of Cinderella on Broadway in New York City in 2013 

In a statement released on Monday, the theater stated: ‘After careful consideration and with our ongoing commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, we have made the decision to cancel our upcoming production.

‘In addition to changing future programming, we are establishing new pre-production protocols. We will be inviting (and paying) BIPOC artists to analyze the production with our creative teams through a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion lens… This conversation will happen before the design and casting process has begun.’

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres have hired a diversity consultant and pledged a commitment to ‘identity-conscious casting and becoming a more intentionally anti-racist theater’. 

Meanwhile, the organization is current putting together a production of The Music Man and have 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

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

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 shot 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

Artistic director Michael Brindisi called out the fact that Cinderella’s cast was 98 percent white. The production has now been scrapped 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk