The only woman directing a Broadway play in 2019 just gave a Tony-worthy call for inclusivity.

Even our most progressive institutions can do better.

Rachel Chavkin became the 10th woman to win a Tony award for directing when she won for her work on Hadestown, a retelling of the Greek myth of Orpheus. Chavkin was the only woman nominated this year, mostly because she was the only woman to direct a Broadway play this year. And if she had her druthers, that wouldn't have been the case.

During her acceptance speech, Chavkin called on Broadway to do better when it comes to diversity. "My folks raised me with the understanding that life is a team sport. And so is walking out of hell. That's what is at the heart of show: It's 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 you're walking alone in the darkness, even when your partner is right there at your back," Chavkin said during her speech. "And this is why I wish I wasn't the only woman directing a musical on Broadway this season."




73rd Annual Tony Awards - Show Getty Images for Tony Awards Pro


Chavkin said that there's no shortage of diverse talent, there's just a shortage of diverse talent getting opportunities. "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 let's do it," she said.



Aft the awards ceremony, Chavkin clarified what she meant during her speech. "It's not a call for altruism, it's just a call for hiring the people," she said. Part of the issue is that there are so many people who are willing to pay lip service to the need for inclusion, yet they balk at the opportunity to enact change by actually hiring women and people of color. There's a big difference between saying, "women should be directors!" and actually hiring a female director.


Chavkin also continued to call out the fact that many people don't put their money where their mouth is when it comes to supporting diversity - and that they should. "Our field is filled with progressive people, and yet our field is not exemplary in terms of living its politics," Chavkin said. "Before we think about fixing problems elsewhere, there has to be a lot of attention paid to our own backyard."


It's one thing to champion the idea of a woman directing a Broadway play. It's another thing entirely to actually let her do it. We need to start seeing more people give opportunities to women and people of color instead of sitting around and talking about it.

Heroes

Los Angeles is experiencing a homeless epidemic that was years in the making.

Over the past six years, the unhoused population in the city has risen 75 percent. The city's lack of homeless shelters and affordable housing has forced many who can't afford L.A.'s sky-high rents to live on the streets.

According to LAist, since 2000, renter incomes have decreased by 3 percent while rents have gone up 32 percent.

While the city has launched a $100 million-per-year program to help the problem, rapper, entrepreneur, and actor Jaden Smith has found his own way of responding to the crisis: love.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities

Mom and blogger Mary Katherine Backstrom regularly shares snippets of life with her two children on her Facebook page. One particularly touching interaction with her daughter is melting hearts and blowing minds due to the three-year-old's wise words about forgiveness.

Even adults struggle with the concept of forgiveness. Entire books have been written about how and why to forgive those who have wronged us, but many still have a hard time getting it. Who would guess that a preschooler could encapsulate what forgiveness means in a handful of innocent words?

Keep Reading Show less
Family


Social media may be "ruining society" according to a lot of people's grandparents. But it's also a pretty helpful tool for spotting racists and publicly shaming them. Incidentally, a lot of those racists are also people's grandparents... kinda makes you think, hmmm?

Recently, two elderly white ladies were spotted in a Burger King in Central Florida being racist towards a man who they overheard speaking Spanish. That man turned out to be the manager.

Some nearby customers were filming the incident and posted the video online where it's gone viral. "Go back to Mexico," says one of the women. "If you want to keep speaking Spanish, go back to your Mexican country." She then continues: "this is America. Our main language is English. ... Speak your Mexican at home."

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

The U.S. women's soccer team won the Women's World Cup, but the victory is marred by the fact that the team is currently fighting for equal pay. In soccer, the game is won by scoring points, but the fight for equal pay isn't as clearly winnable and the playing field isn't as even.

We live in a world where winning the World Cup is easier than winning equal pay, but co-captain Megan Rapinoe says there's one easy way fans can support the team: Go see games.

Some people argue the men's team deserves to get paid more because they are more successful and earn more money for the United States Soccer Federation. Pay depends on merchandise and ticket sales, and in general, men's sporting events tend to draw a bigger crowd than women's sporting events. It's not about sex, many argue; it's about the fact that people just prefer to see men play.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture