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The Ensemblist is an inside look at the experience of being a Broadway performer- from the first rehearsal through performing eight shows a week and beyond. Whether you’re an experienced theatre professional or a passionate fan, The Ensemblist will give you the opportunity to get to know new performers and the great work they do onstage, while also shedding light on some of the hidden innerworkings of the Broadway experience. Created and hosted by Mo Brady (The Addams Family, SMASH) and Nikka Graff Lanzarone (Chicago, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), The Ensemblist is the only podcast that shows you Broadway from the inside out. 

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Demographics of Broadway Ensemblists 2016-2017 (part 3 of 3)

Mo Brady

The Ensemblist co-creator Mo Brady dives into the demographics of performers from the 2016-2017 Broadway season.


In this final installment in "Mo Brady's Nerd Dive into Broadway," let's delve deeper into the metrics of the 878 ensemblists that worked on Broadway between July 2016 and June 2017.

While the gender gap is not closed, it certainly is close. 45% of working Broadway ensemblists this year are women (or people that present as cisgendered women). That's 394 ladies vs. 484 gentlemen.

If you want to know what American newborns were being named in the 1980s and 1990s, look no further than these 874 artists. 15 of the guys are named a variation of "John" (that includes Jon, John, Jonathan and one Johnny Stellard). On the ladies side, 10 are named a variation of "Jennifer." A remarkable eight women are named "Emily."

Johnny Stellard (remarkably the only "Johnny" on Broadway this year.)

Johnny Stellard (remarkably the only "Johnny" on Broadway this year.)

I was tempted to delve into the demographics of ethnicity among these performers, but who am I to guess the racial background of 878 individuals. Maybe that's something to discuss in future years, but I'm choosing to shy away from the conversation today.

Of the 878, 49% (428) originated at least one of the tracks they played on Broadway this year. 42 of them are Gypsy Robe recipients. And 82 of them have been podcast guests on The Ensemblist!

Let's end with a shout out to the 210 actors who worked as swings on Broadway this year. 24% of the ensemblists working on Broadway this year were not part of the performing company each night. Let's do what we can to teach the next generation of Broadway artists and audiences that it's just as much of an accomplishment to be a Broadway swing as it is to be a Broadway principal!

What'd I miss? What'd I get wrong? Let me know - leave a comment below with your thoughts, or shout me a message on social media @mo_brady. Let's get nerdy together.