Over the weekend, cast members at Mill Mountain Theatre were told they were being let go after bringing to leadership complaints of whitewashing of the role of Vanessa in the production.
Prior to the cancellation, the venue had released a statement on March 16th stating "The actor playing Vanessa has respectfully withdrawn from the show, effective immediately out of respect for the role and in support of the Latinx community. Respecting and creating opportunities for diverse voices is an important goal for everyone at Mill Mountain Theatre. The theatre strives to do better and focuses on telling diverse stories and building a better community. Additionally, Mill Mountain Theatre is committed to celebrating the story of a vibrant community in Washington Heights and the revered Latinx voices within the greater community."
Following the discussions and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, on Sunday the theatre contacted cast members to let them know they were canceling the production.
"As a BIPOC group of actors, we were eager to tell this story, one of the few stories that talks about us, that shares our culture and our stories with the world. We stopped rehearsals because of our convictions of injustice, despite our passion and willingness to continue working, to tell our story, to do the work together with MMT..." one cast member said to BroadwayWorld. "We are sad, angry, outraged. We lost our jobs because of their admitted mistake, and that feels deeply unfair. Regardless of this unfortunate decision, we do not regret speaking up and encourage others to speak their truth."
On Monday afternoon, the board had reversed their decision, with the production now set to continue as originally planned. Per a cast member, the Mill Mountain Theatre is also seeking a Latinx director, choreographer, and music director for the production.
Representatives for Mill Mountain Theatre did not provide a comment by press time.
The production is currently still set to run April 6 through April 24.