Minnesota Theater Cancels ‘Cinderella’ Production Citing Too Many White Cast Members

A Minnesota suburban theater canceled its production of “Cinderella,” citing that the cast had too many white actors. 

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres announced on its website that the production of “Cinderella” was not aligned with its current diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. Instead of recasting the production to include more people of color, the theater opted to nix the production entirely. 

“After careful consideration and with our ongoing commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres has made the decision to cancel our upcoming production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” the theater said. “Our hope in beginning the production process again with a new title will allow us to put into practice an intentional process based on the work we have been doing towards equity and inclusivity.” 

In the same statement, the theater announced that it will invite and pay for a [black, indigenous, or person of color] to analyze the makeup of the cast and how to make the show adequately “anti-racist.” 

“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.  

The theater’s Artistic Director Michael Brindisi told Twin Cities Pioneer Press that the reason the play was being cut was that the cast was too white. 

“It was 98 percent white,” Brindisi said of the Cinderella cast. “That doesn’t work with what we’re saying we’re going to do.”

Following articles from local news outlets, the theater released an updated statement claiming that it was not in the game of “canceling” Cinderella. The theater claims that it plans to produce and perform “Cinderella” in the future. 

“We did not cancel Cinderella because of content. We are looking forward to bringing it to our stage in the future,” the update reads. “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.”  

According to the New York Post, the theater resides in the Minneapolis suburb of Chanhassen which is 92 percent white, three percent Hispanic, and one percent black. 

Following the death of George Floyd in the spring of 2020 and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, organizations across the nation have committed themselves to “DEI” or “diversity, equity, and inclusion” efforts. 

Many of the “DEI” efforts include harsh criticisms of “whiteness” and encourage white people to become “anti-racist.” There have also been lists created to ascribe characteristics of whiteness and institutions that are “too white.” 

“DEI” has also plagued college campuses and universities. At an Ohio law school, two deans criticized the student body for being “excessively” white after a study declared that the law school was the 144th most white school in the nation. 

The Daily Wire reported

Deans Jessica Berg and Michael Scharf at Case Western Reserve University said they were upset that the school was considered in the top 200 “whitest law schools in America in 2021.” 

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