Features

Most-Read Footlights Stories of 2016

most read news stories

Although 2016 theater news in Los Angeles was dominated by the battle over the elimination or preservation of the 99-Seat Plan, there were other stories that captured Footlights  readers’ attention as well.  Here are the 10 most-read pieces of 2016, along with their opening paragraphs.  There’s a mix of both aggregated coverage and original insights.  The list gives some indication of what theater-goers found most ...

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Privacy Please

condom privacy sex

Though hard to imagine today, federal law once prevented anyone from using the U.S. Postal Service to send contraceptives. In fact, the same law prevented people from using the Postal Service to send ads of contraceptives or even educational materials  about them! This law was finally deemed unconstitutional in 1965. In Griswold v. Connecticut,  the U.S. Supreme Court found the law violated not the right ...

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Dakin Matthews: A Layman Looks at the Dismissal

dakin matthews dismissal suit

Scholar and veteran actor Dakin Matthews is back to explain the recent court dismissal of the lawsuit brought against Actors’ Equity.  You can currently see Dakin on Broadway in Waitress. The judgement is in; the lawsuit, as Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) requested, has been dismissed. It’s a bit of a surprise to me, but not too much. I disagree with the overall ruling, and there ...

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Letter: What 99-Seats Means to Vanessa Stewart

Actress and writer Vanessa Stewart is well-known to the Los Angeles theater community and Footlights readers.  With her husband, French, she is a popular host of LA theater award ceremonies and also a Plaintiff in the suit against her own Union, Actors’ Equity.  She compiled an extensive production database proving, once and for all time, just how valuable the Equity 99-Seat Plan was to Equity ...

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Time To Rethink A Certain Reindeer Story

santa rudolph reindeer rankin bass

It’s December and the ubiquitous holiday music – playing since mid-November – reminds us that Christmas is just around the corner.  I’ve always been troubled by one particular Christmas carol I first learned at the tender age of 4: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. You know the story, right? Young buck born with funny nose. Ostracized and bullied for it. Naturally, an extenuating circumstance (“one foggy ...

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Reaching Our Kids Through Theater

children theater kid boy

Growing up in downtown Boston as an inner city kid, the performing arts were more than just a fun place to spend my time after school. Theater was where I could learn and dream and activate my physicality and my intellect. And yes. There was a lot of pretty cool stuff to do! I was lucky enough to benefit from donors and supporters, completely anonymous ...

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The Divisiveness of Demographics

glass heart broken demographics

You remember the story of Solomon and the Baby?  Solomon was able to smoke out the true mother of the child by threatening to divide it.  The fake mother, who must have been awfully cynical, was down with his solution. That’s something I never understood.  I mean, what would this woman do with pieces of a baby? The de facto  motto of the United States ...

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Opening the Dialog for Women in Theater

woman at sunrise for grid banner

Summer 2015 was the genesis of a thought: Write about powerful women in Los Angeles Theater. Focus upon a more cohesive picture of theater culture. Open up a dialog about what the landscape really looked like for women. And discuss their integration in the performing arts. There was this temptation of course to be the underdog. In the last year alone, I’ve read article after ...

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Updated: Playing the Trump Card

united states us presidential seal

The hashtag #NotMyPresident is quite popular right now.  I can’t get behind it.  Whether or not a person voted for Mr. Trump, he is now the soon-to-be Chief Executive of the country.  So he will be  our President as defined by the Law of the Land, the United States Constitution. And, because he is our soon-to-be President, there are many legal ways to interact with ...

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The Season of the Scare

Scare halloween pumpkin glow in dark

Lately my thoughts have drifted to Halloween because we live in a culture where, the moment Labor Day hits, polite women stop wearing white shoes and grocery stores start pushing orange bags of candy. As with most things in America, sophisticated marketing has changed Halloween over the years. However, the essentials of the holiday are still there: the candy, the dress-up, and the scare. I ...

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