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Arts and Entertainment

LA Theater Drama

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L.A. theater critic Rob Kendt's theater blog, the Wicked Stage, is back with fresh entries and, unfortunately, he's got a big story to parse this week as newsfilters out that the [Music] Center Theater Group (CTG) new artistic director, Michael Ritchie, has eliminated programs focused on the development of new plays and playrights, effective July 1, in order to spend more time and funding on staging new plays rather than work-shopping them in readings.

That means many well-considered theater professionals like LA playwright Luis Alfaro are out of a job. Ironically, Alfaro, who oversees the Taper NewWork Festival, has his own play, Electricidad, running at the Music Center right now.

Response has been varied about how the CTG cuts now mean that there's no ethnic-specific support for the development of new plays in Los Angeles---The LA Weekly is passionately outraged while Kendt is trying to be more measured--, but everyone who loves theater in LA agrees that Ritchie's decision is a blow for the local theater community and all emerging playwrights in California.

Photo by Craig Schwartz.