Bay Street Theatre announced July 28 that it was canceling its free outdoor concert staging of The Prince of Egypt, a co-production with DreamWorks Theatricals. The news comes in the wake of controversy surrounding the recently announced cast, with members of the theatre community expressing their disappointment at the lack of diversity.
The concert staging was planned for August 13, marking the first time the new musical would be heard in its entirety. A press representative for Bay Street Theatre had no information on a future public reading of the musical.
See the theatre's announcement via Facebook below:
Following outcries from the community—including Tony winner Cynthia Erivo, who took to Twitter to express her disappointment—that the cast lacked actors of color, the show’s director, Bay Street artistic director Scott Schwartz, released an official statement via the theatre’s website addressing these concerns. “Your concern about the need for diversity and authenticity in this project is something we hear and take seriously,“ read his statement. “All of us on the creative and producing team hope to continue this conversation.“ Schwartz, who spoke with Erivo directly, declined to comment further on the cancellation.
The director assured me that it will indeed develop and change and grow xx https://t.co/vrPYSKxPUi— Cynthia Erivo (@CynthiaEriVo) July 25, 2016
It saddens me that after such a wonderful multicultural season on Broadway a piece set in AFRICA has not one POC. #PrinceOfEgypt 😔— Cynthia Erivo (@CynthiaEriVo) July 23, 2016
The Prince of Egypt received a concert staging of the first act at Bay Street last summer. Based on the film in which an Egyptian prince learns of his true identity, the new musical features a book by Philip LaZebnik and music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.