Features

Opening the Dialog for Women in Theater

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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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L.A.’s Latino Theater Company Evolves the Narrative

latino theater company premeditation play production photo

José Luis Valenzuela and Evelina Fernández are an all-in-one husband and wife theatrical team.  José Luis Valenzuela is The Latino Theater Company Artistic Director and the head of the UCLA MFA Director Program.  Evelina Fernández is writer of The Mexican Trilogy which opens this month with José directing.  The pair recently sat down with me to discuss the evolving role of theater in Los Angeles: ...

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Wendy Worthington’s Tour de Force

Wendy Worthington landscape wicked Madam Morrible

Wendy Worthington is an actor, producer, and founding member of Neo Ensemble Theatre.  She joined Actors’ Equity Association only a few years ago.  Her motivation was to throw in with fellow Los Angeles actors protesting their union’s termination of the 99-Seat Plan – the vehicle which has fostered the development of intimate theater throughout Los Angeles.  Says Wendy: “I had come to Los Angeles to ...

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Dakin Matthews: A Layman Looks at Equity’s Reply to Plaintiffs’ Rebuttal

dakin matthews winston churchill

Dakin Matthews is a proud member of Actors Equity for almost 50 years. He has worked under many of its contracts, codes, and plans including, recently, five shows on Broadway.  He is also a retired full professor of English with specialties in Shakespeare, linguistics, rhetoric, and grammar.  He is a member in good standing of Equity in the Western Region, but is pretty much bi-coastal ...

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Labor Day for Artists

hamburger minimum wage

There is much in the news these days about how artists, and the personnel infrastructure supporting the artists, need to be appropriately compensated.  Los Angeles theater, of course, has become ground-zero for some of this debate.  Despite claims to the contrary, you’d be hard-pressed to find a stage actor in L.A. who wouldn’t like to be more appropriately compensated.  The issue is defining the term ...

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Letter: Proposed Changes to Actors’ Equity’s Constitution

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Footlights received this letter from actor and Actors’ Equity member Leo Marks.  In it, he references an upcoming Equity meeting on September 12, 2016:  For those of you wondering what the 9/12 meeting is about: I’m attaching the text of the proposals I’ve submitted, which will be voted on at that meeting. I really encourage people to read these for themselves. For what it’s worth, ...

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Counterpoint to a Datapoint

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Under the title “There is Pro99 Data and Then There Are the Facts,” Los Angeles playwright, producer, and stage manager Armina LaManna has published a rebuttal in The Dramatist  to Vanessa Stewart’s earlier article there (a version of which first appeared in Footlights). You may recall that Stewart, aided by Monica Greene, took upon herself the daunting task of capturing the life of any intimate ...

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Equity Exec Director Mary McColl Contradicts Equity Website

picard face palm forehead smack

Earlier this week,  I reviewed Actors’ Equity’s new website equityworksla.com.  Equity claims this special site will inform Los Angeles about the coming rule-changes.  Secondarily, the tone on the website is clearly designed to make the changes seem as benign as possible.  As I found in my review, however, the website is riddled with inconsistencies, partial truths, and deliberately misleading graphics.  The site is so flawed ...

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