Drama Desk Pres. Hails Increased Diversity for Theater Surge

April 20, 2017
By Joe Maniscalco

Drama Desk Awards coming June 4.

New York, NY - On the next episode of LaborPress’ “Blue Collar Buzz,” airing this Sunday night at 9 p.m. on AM970,  Drama Desk President Charles Wright explains how now is a great time to be working in the theater industry — and why increased diversity is a major reason for that. 

“The more diversity that we see represented in performance, the more diverse our audiences are going to be,” Wright says. “This is a very exciting time for people working in the theater and people who are fans of the theater. It is tremendously advantageous for our city to be  known as the heart of American theater.” 

Lin-Manuel Rivera’s “Hamilton” — Broadway’s reigning box office champ — may currently epitomize the professional theater’s diversity in New York, but Wright says that the city’s theater industry is diversifying in lots of other important ways as well.

“This season, [Drama Desk Awards] nominators have been to churches, raw spaces and outdoor spaces — there are such a variety of spaces that are utilized by the professional theater in New York,” Wright says.

The 62nd Drama Desk Awards ceremony — honoring outstanding professional achievement in all of those spaces — takes place on June 4, at New York’s Town Hall, 123 West 43rd Street.

As Wright explains, there is a special working relationship between theater performers and the folks coming out to see the shows.

“Each performance is different because it’s not just performers acting on a soundstage in front of a camera, but it is an event in which there is a live audience, and every member of that audience is a participant — and the actors respond to the spirit of that audience,” the Drama Desk president says.

And the opportunity to become part of the theater experience might actually be increasing, as well. According to Wright, there are increasing opportunities to see theater at discounted prices, less money and even free.

When Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright Lynn Nottage’s “Sweat” debuted on Broadway recently, tickets to the blue-collar-centric drama could be had for as little as $59. 

“There are plenty of opportunities to see shows without breaking the bank,” Wright says. 

LaborPress’ “Blue Collar Buzz” airs every Sunday night on AM970 The Answer from 9 to 10 p.m. This week’s episode, as well as every other episode of LaborPress’ “Blue Collar Buzz” is also available on demand at


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