The act of casting one or a small number of individuals from a specific marginalized group to create the illusion that a show or organization is diverse. A tokenized individual in an organization is often incorrectly seen and treated as representing a monolithic idea of the culture or group they identify as belonging to. This practice is harmful to the individual and the group they identify as a part of, hindering genuine attempts to diversify the mainstream theatre industry. For more, please see Elmoutawakil, Ingersoll and Selenow, Peterson.

Sources and Further Reading:

Elmoutawakil, Tarik. “How to Avoid Tokenism.” British Council, 20 Jan. 2018,

Ingersoll, Karena Fiorenza, and Deena Selenow. “You Want a Diverse Theatre? Prove it.” HowlRound Theatre Commons, 28 Aug. 2015,

Peterson, Julia. “Sask. Theatre Artists of Colour Say Racism, Tokenism Persists in Local Industry.” CBC News, 22 Jul. 2020,