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Producorial Responsibility: Artist and Audience Diversity


  1. It amazes me how Joe Papp started diversifying his artists and audiences over 50 years ago and that concept still has not come to fruition for the country as a whole.

    Really enjoying this blog and looking forward to the next installments in this series!

  2. Cedric Yau says:

    Whether commercial or non-profit, I don’t think we can demand a producer be willing to lose more money just to support ethnic casting.

    • I agree with you 100% – I’m not suggesting that they should, nor am I suggesting that they will – any producer who thinks that “ethnic casting” (your term, not mine) will LOSE them money is not paying any attention to changing American attitudes and beliefs. My point is that by casting whatever play they’re producing with an eye to diversity, they will MAKE money – if not at the box office (which I think is likely), then in future donation requests, or the recruitment of that new Board member who was impressed by the inclusionary focus, or the connection to a grant maker who values diversity. We live in 2011 – the tide of every community, even those in the South, is leaning toward openness when it comes to diversity – why are theatre producers still living in the 1950’s? Hell, the 1850’s?

  3. Guy Palace says:

    Excellent piece and I agree with Mandee’s comment regarding Joe Papp. As a participant with a community theatre with a heavy dose of Latino and Korean population, it’s frustrating to have to argue to produce plays that reach out to these communities, and that just producing is not enough. We (theatre’s) must engage in a dialogue to ferret out a dialogue so our community theatre is, indeed, of the community.

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