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Minnesota theater cancels ‘Cinderella’ production due to ’98 percent white’ cast

A Minnesota theater has canceled an upcoming performance of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” over concerns regarding the cast’s lack of diversity.

In a release, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres said its staff and leaders “believe unapologetically” in their decision to replace the performance with one “Footloose!”

“It was 98 percent white,” Michael Brindisi, the theater’s artistic director, told the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. “That doesn’t work with what we’re saying we’re going to do.”

The statement said the theater is still “looking forward to bringing it to our stage in the future.”

“But we as a company decided our original casting didn’t go far enough in our commitment, and instead of waiting another full year to implement these important changes, we chose now,” it said.

The theater also announced new diversity protocols it will be implementing going forward, including bringing Black, Indigenous and other artists of color to analyze future productions before they begin the casting process.

“We believe this new process will allow us to tell the story in a rich way and allow us to live out our commitment to identity-conscious casting and becoming a more intentionally anti-racist theater,” the statement reads.

In addition to scrapping “Cinderella,” Chanhassen Dinner Theatres also invited artists of color to join the current cast of their production of “The Music Man” as replacements.

The updates are the venue’s latest efforts to promote diversity, equality and inclusion, which they made a commitment to in a February statement.

Tags BIPOC Cinderella Diversity equality

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