Tag Archives: diversity

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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Diverse Culture at Towne Street Theatre

nancy davis passing solo towne street

This month Towne Street Theatre hit the Hollywood radar with Passing Solo, a memory play set in the 1920s about two African American women who share a secret: Their birth certificates read “Negro” but both can – and do – pass as white. Footlights  took the opportunity to speak with company co-founder, artistic director, and star, Nancy Cheryll Davis-Bellamy, to get some insight about this ...

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Hamilton: American Sign Language Style

hamilton asl sign language video

Hamilton  just got choreographed in a powerful way.  Sarah Tubert translated “Alexander Hamilton”  into American Sign Language. Update September 21, 2016:  Lin-Manuel Miranda, the guy who created Hamilton, thinks Sarah’s piece is special, too.  And posted so on Facebook.

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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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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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Outdoor Voices Festival Opens September 16, 2016

outdoor festival mic

That’s What She Didn’t Say, a Los Angeles non-profit, will present its first Outdoor Voices Festival, a two-weekend theater festival from September 16–18 and 23–25, featuring productions that tackle issues typically deemed challenging, taboo, or “off-limits.” Festival founder, Bonnie Joy Sludikoff, stated “We’re excited to be furthering our mission of creating healthy conversations about taboo topics with this year’s inaugural Outdoor Voices Festival.  We hope this ...

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Deaf West Creates Music Video

ingrid michaelson deaf west video

The Los Angeles theater company Deaf West has long been lauded but, with its production of Spring Awakening, it’s currently driving a national conversation.  Recently, the National Endowment of the Arts published a report of their deaf theater roundtable discussion where Deaf West figured prominently.  And now, inspired by the company’s performance at the Tony Awards, Ingrid Michaelson created an American Sign Language version of ...

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AEA President Formally Addresses Diversity

Actors’ Equity President Kate Shindle has a guest column in Variety  to formally write about diversity and the Hamilton casting notice.  Earlier in the week, Equity created tremendous Internet backlash by seemingly to be only concerned about discrimination when white actors were excluded.  The Union subsequently deleted a tweet and replaced the 140 character message with a much longer one for Union members.  In her ...

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The Bechdel Test and the Art of Politics

diversity bechdel scientist appearance

Have you heard of the Bechdel test?  It was developed to formalize an observation made by Virginia Woolf about the simplicity of women’s characters in literature.  A piece of fiction passes the test if, and only if, three conditions are met: The work has at least two women in it who talk to each other about something other than a man. Given the simplicity of ...

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Theater and Misogyny

Writer Holly Harper asks a very simple question: Theatre is about acceptance, so why can’t women be accepted?

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