10 Jun âHadestownâ Director Rachel Chavkin: Diversity âIs Not a Pipeline Issueâ
In a Broadway season nearly devoid of female directors, the sole woman at the helm of a musical this year â Rachel Chavkin, director of âHadestownâ â took home the Tony Award for best direction of a musical.
Ms. Chavkin, who was previously nominated in the category for âNatasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812â in 2017, emphasized diversity in the industry in her acceptance speech Sunday night.
âThere are so many women who are ready to go. There are so many artists of color who are ready to go. And we need to see that racial diversity and gender diversity reflected in our critical establishment, too,â Ms. Chavkin said in her speech. âThis is not a pipeline issue. It is a failure of imagination by a field whose job is to imagine the way the world could be.â
My folks raised me with the understanding that life is a team sport. And so is walking out of hell. Thatâs what is at the heart of show: Itâs about whether you can keep faith when you are made to feel alone. And it reminds us that that is how power structures try to maintain control: by making you feel like youâre walking alone in the darkness, even when your partner is right there at your back. And this is why I wish I wasnât the only woman directing a musical on Broadway this season. There are so many women who are ready to go. There are so many artists of color who are ready to go. And we need to see that racial diversity and gender diversity reflected in our critical establishment too. This is not a pipeline issue. It is a failure of imagination by a field whose job is to imagine the way the world could be. So letâs do it. Thank you, thank you!
âHadestown,â a folksy reimagining of an ancient Greek myth, led the pack this season with 14 Tony nominations. Before Ms. Chavkinâs win, the show had won in five other categories, including awards for scenic design, sound design, lighting design and orchestrations.
âOur field is filled with progressive people, and yet our field is not exemplary in terms of living its politics â first and foremost, who is telling the stories and what stories are they telling,â Ms. Chavkin said after her speech.