Tag Archives: diversity

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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Equity Removes Tweet, Inserts Letter

actors equity logo

Yesterday, Actors’ Equity officially applauded a wording change in the casting notice for Hamilton.  The tweet was controversial because it begged the question about being able to cast by race – something that doesn’t appear to be an issue if the casting notice calls exclusively for Caucasians.  That tweet: spurred a significant Internet backlash.  Equity has since deleted the tweet. Today, Equity issued another tweet ...

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UPDATED: Hamilton Casting Raises Diversity Issues

black and white diversity

The diversity argument in the arts has been brewing hotter for at least a year now.   The backlash discussion of Howlround’s Jubilee, an attempt to get theaters to commit to producing only non-white, non-male writers in the year 2020, showed that the boundary between diversity and inclusiveness is not as sharp as might be expected. Now Hamilton, the Broadway sensation that will likely sweep the ...

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