Theater lovers got a sneak peek into the director's process with a lecture and luncheon with a panel of Asolo Repertory Theatre's featured directors.
Theater fans got to dish and dine on drama this morning at the Director's Take Luncheon at the Asolo Repertory Theatre. Moderated by the theater's dramaturg Lauryn E. Sasso, four directors from this season's lineup of plays discussed the important and overarching topic of the fourth year of Asolo Rep's "American Character" project: race relations.
"Racism is not an issue. It's a crime, an abomination and an evil," says Frank Galati, director of Asolo Rep's production of "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner." "It's important for theater to plum the depths of our own souls and hearts and to find a way to engage with such an important topic."
Joining Galati on the panel were producing artistic director Michael Donald Edwards (who will be directing the Pulitzer Prize-winning and controversial Muslim play "Disgraced"), first-time Asolo Rep director Emily Sophia Knapp (director of the Tony Award-winning play "All The Way," which focuses on President Lyndon B. Johnson's passing of the Civil Rights Act) and resident directing fellow Shaun Patrick Tubbs, who will serve as an assistant director for every production this season.
Asolo Rep's 2015-2016, which opened with "West Side Story" on Nov. 13, features several plays and musicals with American race relations and identity as central themes such as "All The Way," "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," "Disgraced" and the world premiere of the musical "Josephine," which focuses on influential singer, actress and racial advocate Josephine Baker.
"What's onstage this year reflects not only what we see in the world but also what we see in the world of theater," says Edwards. "Broadway is experiencing its most racially diverse season ever. The plenty of the American people is coming forward and taking its place on the stage."