New York Daily News
Mishap kills L.A. theater organization
The L.A. Stage Alliance is shutting down for good after it grossly misidentified a Korean-American nominee at its recent Ovation Awards ceremony, the organization said Monday.
The 46-year-old nonprofit is ceasing operations amid a mass resignation of members following its disrespectful treatment of Jully Lee (photo), who was nominated for Featured Actress in a Play for “Hannah and the Dread Gazebo,” a co-production of East West Players and the Fountain Theatre.
Lee’s name was mispronounced when the nominees were read during last week’s ceremony, and a photo of a different Asian actress was shown onscreen.
“We take full responsibility for the oversight and we deeply regret any harm this may have caused,” the organization said in a written apology that failed to stem the tide of outrage.
“It is with deep regret that the Board of Governors has unanimously decided to cease all operations for LA Stage Alliance,” the organization said in its Instagram post Monday.
“We have come to this conclusion with a heavy heart — our intention was to represent and promote the entire Los Angeles theater community,” the group said.
After the disastrous 2021 ceremony, several Southern California theater companies withdrew their membership from L.A. Stage Alliance, citing not only the mistreatment of Jully Lee but the group’s practice of only acknowledging one theater company per production.
The practice disenfranchised prominent BIPOC [Black, indigenous and people of color] groups such as East West Players, a national troupe founded to showcase Asian-American work beyond the narrow roles most common in mainstream Hollywood, the departing members said.
“Every time East West Players co-produces in an effort to bring Asian-American actors more visibility in L.A. theatres, only the other, predominantly white organization is solely listed and uplifted,” East West Players said in a statement calling out L.A. Stage Alliance.
“This is what erasure of our work and our community looks like,” the statement said.