NBC News: 'Frozen' to 'Iceman Cometh': Inside Broadway's push for more diverse casting

Wolfe’s open-minded view is what Actors’ Equity is striving to achieve throughout the industry. Christine Toy Johnson, who is the national chair of the union’s equal employment opportunity committee, says universal access to auditions is the ultimate goal to achieve widespread inclusivity in theater. “We're working toward getting our members entry into the room, not only physically but also philosophically,” Johnson said. “That means shifting perceptions of who we are and what we can do.”

This is why for Nicole S. Smart, Equity’s first director of diversity, inclusiveness is much more than casting actors of color. “It just can't be something you put together and not really nurture or curate it, because it will show,” Smart said. “It has to be intentional in order to be successful as well.”

Smart says a show’s creative team needs to be as diverse as its cast to have earnest conversations about character identity and to display cultural sensitivity. “We want to make sure there’s a diverse group of people in the room during development, so it does not coming across as offensive in any way and it's culturally appropriate in the way that it's being presented.” READ MORE