Aug 7, 2005

L.A.'s Fade to White

Why is this devastating take on the future of multicultural theatre in Los Angeles in the New York Times? Why did it take a New York-based writer to put these words in print:
I find it distressing that Luis Alfaro, who had run the Latino Playwrights Initiative before being made director of new play development, lost his job. And I find it distressing that there is only one minority woman on Mr. Ritchie's artistic staff. No one should have to bear that burden, artistically or practically.

That's not a quote—that's the writer, Margo Jefferson, offering her own perspective amid a series of dismissive quotes from the Taper's artistic director, Michael "Lopakhin" Ritchie.

L.A.'s habit of under-rating itself can lead to some pleasant surprises. But it also has the unfortunate effect of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy, of lower expectations yielding lesser results. It doesn't have to be this way; it very often hasn't been this way in L.A., despite the conventional wisdom. Just how many ways can a heart break?

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