Jeremy O. Harris, the most recent “it” playwright, has stirred up some trouble in Los Angeles.
Harris has asked that a production of his one hit, “Slave Play.” be removed from CTG Theater Group’s schedule in Los Angeles over gender parity. He means that few female playwrights get their works produced there.
“Slave Play” was supposed to re-open the Mark Taper Forum on February 9th. But Harris looked the schedule and didn’t like what he saw– this is despite “Blues for an Alabama Sky” written by Pearl Cleage and directed by Phylicia Rashad coming from April 6th through May 8th.
“Slave Play” is returning to Broadway for an eight week run this fall even though it failed to score a single Tony Award. It was a financial hit when it played prior to the pandemic largely because it’s gratuitous porn streamlined for a theater crowd.
I think Los Angeles has dodged a bullet, frankly; The Mark Taper Forum can do a lot better with a return show. How Harris’s financial backers will feel about not having a West Coast production remains unknown. But welcome to cancel culture, and random petulance. Theater owners have enough problems finding shows that will bring audiences, I doubt the CTG people are looking only for plays by people of a certain gender or color. They will book the most popular shows. Harris should know that. If Lynn Nottage or Suzan Lori Parks had had a hit in the previous New York season, it would undoubtedly have headed west.
And so it goes.
— Variety Screenwriter To Watch Jeremy O. Harris (@jeremyoharris) October 5, 2021