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December 14, 2009

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99

Amen, brother. All the way around. Theatre is dealing with issues our society is dealing with and no one is finding a good way around. Has any industry successfully diversified?

Ben TS

I just want to say, first off, that your coverage of this event is some of the most exciting theatre blogging I've read in a good while. This site continually changes my perceptions about things in the best way possible.

Regaring "barriers," a big one for me is a lack of community-specific programming.

An example of what I mean by this: my local LORT growing up is in a post-industrial, middle-sized New England city. The Black and Latino population makes up a hefty 75% of residents. And yet (I swear I am not making this up) nearly every single "black play" this theatre has produced over the past five years took place in the American South, pre-1970. To put it a bit crassly, many regional theatres in the North are glad to produce plays about the evils of Jim Crow-era racism, but in terms of programming relevant to the white-flight-raped communities that surround these insitutions, nada.

That's the layer that I would like to see added to the conversation. It's not just that major theatres aren't producing plays about minorities, it's that they're not producing plays relevant to the actual minorities in their community. And you can't build bridges like that.


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