chapter  8
14 Pages

Beyond Race and Gender: Reframing Diversity in Actor- Training Programs

ByDAVID EULUS WILES

Diversity is both a buzzword and a byword in American higher education. As applied over the last four decades, it has helped to transform our society in ways that are recognizable and, for all of the controversies surrounding the issue, in ways that are, in my opinion, profoundly good. The colleges and universities that have pursued diversity have recognized and taken seriously their role as transformative institutions. Coincidentally, it is also primarily since the 1960s that college and university theatre departments have, in their BA, BFA, and MFA training programs, transformed the training of theatre artists and administrators in ways that have had a signifi cant impact on both the quantity and quality of professional theatre in the United States. In doing so, theatre departments have often been in the vanguard when it comes to promoting and creating diversity in their student populations and downstream, in the profession. Up to a point.