Posted on April 24, 2009

Race an Issue in Wilson Play, and in Its Production

Patrick Healy, New York Times, April 22, 2009

In life, the playwright August Wilson had an all-but-official rule: No white directors for major productions of his work. . . . {snip}

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The selection of [white director Bartlett] Sher by the producer, Lincoln Center Theater, has prompted concern and even outrage among some black directors, who say this production [of “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” which opened on April 16] represents a lost opportunity for a black director, for whom few opportunities exist on Broadway or at major regional theaters. {snip}

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“I’ve learned more from this cast than any group that I’ve ever worked with,” said Mr. Sher, who won a Tony for “South Pacific.” “But I also learned an enormous amount about the lack of opportunity in theater today. More Ibsen should be directed by black directors. More Shakespeare. More Chekhov.”

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