I was lucky growing up and got to see a fair share of Broadway shows. Especially in recent years, however, I’m less comfortable by the “white priviledge” of most of the audience (myself included). My theater-going experience is tainted by the often homogenous audience and their predicatable, dull responses. A diverse audience (no, I don’t mean just in race…class, age, gender, geographical origin, religion, and interests all play key roles here) significantly enriches the experience of both the play and watching the play both subconciously (wow, I wonder what that upper east side child sees this scene as and how her grandma will explain it to her) and overtly (I should have realized that the naming of “Jesus” is a huge moment here). Two of my favorite recent shows, Raisin in the Sun and Hair, were undoubtably such because of the crowds they drew.
I’m glad the theater is starting to reach outside the normal audience pool and I hope it succeeds at changing the culture of Broadway audiences.