HomeAAPI ActorsLA Stage Alliance shuts down after East West Player protest

LA Stage Alliance shuts down after East West Player protest

East West Players

The LA Stage Alliance announced it would be closing following a mass exodus of theatres lead by the East West Players, Playbill reported.

The oldest Asian American theater company pulled out of the Alliance in protest after the group failed to be recognized during the Ovation Awards despite co-producing two nominated plays. The Alliance also used a photo of another Asian American actress when honoring actress Jully Lee, in addition to mispronouncing her name.

Two dozen other LA theater groups also withdrew out of the Alliance in support of East West Players.

“Our intention has always been to represent and promote the entire Los Angeles theatre community, but at this time we are unable to continue,” the group said in a statement. “For the past 46 years, LASA has worked to acknowledge, support, and celebrate artists and theatres from all communities. We believe in equity, diversity, and inclusion at all levels. As individuals, we are committed to continuing our support of this community which we hold so dear. We wish the entire theatre community and its stakeholders continued success.”

“We have come to this decision with a heavy heart.’

Snehal Desai, artistic director of East West Players, described the decision as “a disappointment” to the LA Times.

“What’s clear is that the L.A. theater community is close-knit and supportive, and that’s what’s going to lead the charge out of this,” Desai said. “LASA wasn’t doing this.”

Critics pointed to the Alliance’s lack of diversity. Over the weekend, its 13-member Ovation rules committee withdrew from their volunteer positions while acknowledging their responsibility for the non-inclusive practice of the awards.

“LASA had not been the organization it used to be for years. The ceremony just made it very publicly clear how far removed they were from the community,” said committee member Cricket Myers.

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