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I have just read about the death of Source Theatre founder Bart Whiteman. Bob Mondello’s story in City Paper (“Stages of Grief,” 3/31) mentions Bart’s being forced to leave Source Theatre because of unpaid royalty fees. I was on Source’s board of directors at the time and remember the situation as an object lesson in why the founders of artistic organizations—who have struggled to build them from nothing with their own sweat, tears, and financial sacrifice—should not create boards that have the power to remove them when the organization achieves success and respectability. At the time of the royalty crisis, no checks could be issued by the theater without the signature of a board member. The board (or at least the ranking members of the board) was therefore aware, or should have been aware, that royalty checks had not been sent for several shows. Nonetheless, Bart was unfairly scapegoated and replaced. The theater he had created survived, but his free-wheeling spirit, passionate dedication, and electric energy and inspiration were missed.
Orange County, Calif.