Guthrie's 2012 lineup starts diversity debate

  • Article by: GRAYDON ROYCE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 19, 2012 - 4:33 PM

Joe Dowling says the announcement isn't complete and that focusing on one season is a narrow view.

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rarmstrongApr. 18, 12 9:04 PM

Patrons of the theater can certainly judge a play for what it is, regardless of who wrote it, regardless of who directs it. For example: Shakespeare.

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totaltruthApr. 18, 12 9:27 PM

The purpose of the Guthrie is to entertain and fill the seats... Not to cater to those who focus on racism and sexism at every turn... even when there isn't any!!!

Some people spend their entire lives creating problems that do not even exist in the real world... It exists only in their shallow minds!!!!

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city2419Apr. 18, 12 9:55 PM

I hope we don't ever get to a place where the Guthrie is selecting a play or choosing a director simply because they are a specific gender, race or creed ... it would be a damn shame to have such a decision made for anything other than artistic merit. And not to sound elitist, but who's ever heard of Theater Novi Most? It would be great to hear from people who ACTUALLY program seasons like Jack Reuler, Wendy Knox and Michelle Hensley. --Lee

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jarlmnApr. 18, 12 9:56 PM

What would you indeed rather have ... talent (from whatever racial or gender source) or tokenism? The slavish and knee-jerk wailing for "diversity" at the expense of quality and talent, would make both M.L. King and Virginia Woolf roll over in their graves...

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harrisstevenApr. 18, 1210:17 PM

Good God. This is not helping people want to "diversify".

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jdesutterApr. 18, 1210:21 PM

The job of the Guthrie isnt to be Politically correct, its to sell tickets and make money. If a play written by a woman or someone belonging to a minority is deemed acceptable to a mass audience, the Guthrie will put it on. To claim bias, racism or sexism is not only offensive to the Guthrie, its offensive to actual acts of harassment against women and minorities.

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buthead2Apr. 18, 1210:59 PM

When " diversity" becomes quotas it loses credibility.

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bobjmnApr. 18, 1211:14 PM

It would be nice if The Guthrie would produce more than one show per year people want to see. A Christmas Carol draws crowds and the rest of the year the theaters are half empty. Our church received a group of free tickets to fill seats and we were most of the audience at the three performances we attended at no cost. That has to be more embarrassing than meeting minority quotas. But then, where is the diversity? They seem to overlook many common sense operational concerns that will certainly lead to their demise soon.

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thirdfrankApr. 18, 1211:25 PM

Odd, isn't it, that there are no women writers and directors on the planet with talent and accomplishment equal to that of all the men. Tsk, tsk. What else are these poor theaters to do but maintain the status quo? The first six comments here are pretty shallow and myopic.

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civilsotaApr. 19, 1212:34 AM

The problem isn't necessarily the lack of diversity off stage, it's the lack of the diversity in the stories being told (though the two likely go hand in hand). Despite some really bold shows in recent years (Scottsboro, Great Game/Afghanistan, Nine Parts of Desire), too often the Guthrie lacks artistic or cultural daring and sticks with the old conservative guard. They are desperate to get globally-minded and young patrons into seats, but how many of us want to see yet another dry, Euro-centric tragicomedy? No wonder people are heading to the "diversity" theaters. The Guthrie is going to need to evolve as quickly as its target audience in order to pay that expensive rent 10 years from now. And not just in the cooperative productions, but the "official" runs as well.

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