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LA Stage Alliance Shuts Down For Good After Awards Show Misidentifies Asian American Actress

(Screenshot from LA Stage Alliance Website)
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The LA Stage Alliance shut down today after serious mishaps at their awards show last week, which raised questions about racial equity and led dozens of theater groups in the city to withdraw support for the organization.

At last week's pre-recorded Ovation Awards, which the LA Stage Alliance puts on, the host mispronounced actor Jully Lee's name when her award was called. Producers then put up a photo of a different Asian actor.

The play Lee starred in,"Hannah and the Dread Gazebo," was also credited solely to the Fountain Theatre, with no mention of co-presenter East West Players, which is one of the country's top Asian American theater companies.

In a social media post, Lee said she “was not the only person misidentified with a wrong photo/name mispronunciation. I was just the 1st one of the night. #DoBetter doesn’t even scratch the surface.”

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Snehal Desai is the artistic director of East West Players. He says while the LA Stage Alliance used to be a major advocate for the theater community, he doesn't feel too concerned about it shutting down:

"There was a time when this would have made a void or a significant impact, but not so much today. Now we have things like the Theatre Producers League of LA, we have Alternative Theatre LA. These are large cohorts that are picking up the mantle."

In a statement, L.A. Stage Alliance said:
"Our intention has always been to represent and promote the entire Los Angeles theatre community, but at this time we are unable to continue… We wish the entire community and it's stakeholders continued success."

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