Ensembles are the backbone of musicals; they create the world in which main characters struggle, evolve, and, hopefully, resolve. With 41 Broadway theatres and dozens of musicals running in the 2018–2019 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” report.
The data looks at musicals that opened in the 2018–2019 season, as well as new additions to the casts of shows that opened prior to the start of that season.
Of the 863 ensemble performers on Broadway, as defined by their Equity contracts, 118 of them made their Broadway debuts with that season’s shows. Work begets work, as 206 actors have performed on Broadway the past five consecutive seasons. Long-running shows still dominate the landscape of big-chorus shows, with The Lion King employing 55 ensemblists this past season. Some performers have been busy toggling between multiple shows, too. See the full facts and figures below: