If you're seriously involved in Los Angeles theater AND you've not been living under a rock for the past week or so, you've already heard the wind-up to this conversation several times on different platforms. A distillation of what went down:
The LA Times Culture Monster announced a roundtable discussion around the question "Is LA a theater town?" featuring a panel of talented, distinguished folks who, together, could hardly be described as coming close to representing LA theater in full. In response, Colin Mitchell of the website Bitter Lemons got the ball rolling with a rabble-rousing facebook post connected to his blog. From there, comments flew fast and furious (mostly bewildered and/or negative and all of which have now been removed) onto the Culture Monster page wondering over the makeup of the panel and decrying the topic question as hardly the one we need to be asking.
So, ready to talk it out, this past Tuesday hundreds of us drove downtown through rush hour traffic, parked our cars for $10 a pop and took our seats only to listen to a bizarrely underwhelming and largely irrelevant back and forth that left most of us looking around in disbelief when it was cut short with no opportunity for Q&A. That night in response, Executive Director of the Theatre @ Boston Court, Michael Seel, took to facebook to ask those of us who were there "what was the conversation YOU wanted the panelists to have?" The comments, mine included, point to the fact that plenty of artists and arts administrators in this town intend to have a serious say in what the conversation actually needs to be.
You can read the distillation of Michael's post and the comments it drew at Boston Court's regularly excellent blog "we PLAY different". I invite you to continue the conversation in the comments section below or wherever you see fit. But continue it, let's do.