PASADENA — Stage Directors and Choreographers Workshop Foundation, The Pasadena Playhouse, and East West Players will present a forum to explore the current state of diversity in Southern California theatre, focusing on the director’s role, on Monday, Dec. 16, at 7:30 p.m. at The Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena.
Questions to be addressed include: What’s working? What aren’t we doing? How can we work together to increase diversity in Southern California theatre?
Panelists will include artistic directors Christopher Ashley (La Jolla Playhouse), Tim Dang (East West Players), Barry Edelstein (The Old Globe), Sheldon Epps (The Pasadena Playhouse), Jessica Kubzansky (Theatre @ Boston Court), Marc Masterson (South Coast Repertory), Michael Ritchie (Center Theatre Group), and Seema Sueko (The Pasadena Playhouse and Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company). The moderator will be Michael John Garcés (Cornerstone Theater Company).
Laura Penn, executive director of SDCF, remarks, “SDCF has been expanding the national reach of our programs, and we are very much looking forward to serving West Coast SDC members and the greater theatre community. Clearly, there are directors and choreographers in Southern California who are making great advancement in the area of diversity. By exploring how progress is being made in the Southern California theatre community, we hope to deepen our understanding of the issue and discover effective ways to encourage diversity.
“I hope those in the community – board members, managing directors, as well as artists and artistic staff – with an interest in furthering diversity will attend.”
The theatre industry has grappled with diversity with varying degrees of success. Dang states, “We want to continue the dialogue and pivot to the issue of how all theaters can provide more opportunities for the broad spectrum of artists including people of color, women, and persons with disabilities and the inclusion of a diverse audience that is America.”
Epps adds, “As a theater which places diversity as a central priority, The Pasadena Playhouse is happy to be hosting this important discussion in collaboration with East West Players and SDCF. I am eager to be examining this complex issue through the lens of valuable freelance directors and fellow artistic directors as part of Pasadena’s ongoing diversity initiative.”
A team of two American Sign Language interpreters will be on stage providing interpretation.