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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