Minnesota theater cancels ‘Cinderella’ production after ‘too white’ cast fails to meet ‘diversity, equity & inclusion’ criteria 1

Chanhassen Dinner Theaters, located in a suburb of Minneapolis, said the play was called off in a statement earlier this week, noting that the mostly white cast was not in line with the venue’s “ongoing commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.”

”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 company said in a statement on its website.  ”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.”

The theater’s director, Michael Brindisi, told local media the ‘Cinderella’ cast was “98% white,” which “doesn’t work with what we’re saying we’re going to do.” Though he said he considered recasting the show, he ultimately chose to “scrap this and start fresh with a clean slate,” adding that some of the actors were disappointed but “every one to a person said they got it and that they respected the very hard decision we had to make.”

The theatre is about 20 miles southwest of Minneapolis, made the announcement earlier this week deciding to replace the 1957 made-for-TV musical starring Julie Andrews with ”Footloose.”