From 42nd Street to A Chorus Line, Broadway celebrates the performers who stand on the line and create the background world of each scene in a musical. With 41 Broadway theatres and dozens of musicals running in the 2017–2018 Broadway season, how many people actually worked under ensemble contracts in a Broadway musical? Using data from Actors' Equity Association and the Playbill Vault, Mo Brady, the founder of The Ensemblist blog and podcast, amalgamated statistics about this past season in this State of the Ensemblist.
The data looks at musicals that opened in the 2017–2018 season, as well as new additions to the casts of shows that opened prior to the start of last season. (Example: Although War Paint was part of the 2016–2017 season, ensemblist Jennifer Rias joined the cast during the 2017–2018 season and is counted in this data.)
Of the 941 ensemble performers on Broadway, as defined by their Equity contracts, 145 of them made their Broadway debuts with that season’s shows. Long-running shows still dominate the landscape of big-chorus shows. Some performers have been busy toggling between multiple shows, too. See the facts and figures below: